Louth Easter 1916 Commemorations attract large numbers

 Republicans throughout Louth turned out in large numbers to remember the Easter Rising and also pay tribute to all of those who, in every decade since 1916, stood by Ireland and stood by the ideals of those who died in 1916.

In Dundalk Imelda Munster TD was the main speaker and reflected on how it was 100 years since women over 30 and working class men over the age of 21 got the vote. She said “this, the reaction to the executions of our leaders in 1916 combined with Sinn Féin successfully leading a campaign against conscription in Ireland in 1918 and a number of other political factors,  seen the vast majority of citizens turn their backs on Britain and vote for Irish Republicans.”

It also seen the election of the first woman to Westminster, Countess Markievicz.

Imelda, being the first woman elected to the Dáil in Louth then said, “we still don’t go to Westminster and the 7 nationalist seats are now 7 Republican seats. The orange state is gone. The Unionist majority in the North has gone. Citizens are turning away from the forces of old conservative Ireland. We are no longer just orange and green – we are a rainbow of colours and identities. We are building a new Ireland that includes everyone and are striving to leave no-one behind.”

Imelda Munster TD went on to talk about realising the goals of the leaders of 1916 and how we go about achieving this. “This new Ireland must be about more than just adding or joining the north to the south. We do not want a 32 county free state. We want a new Republic. The Republic of Wolfe Tone, James Connolly, Constance Markievicz, Mairead Farrell, Bobby Sands and Martin McGuinness.

“In the words of Maire Drumm, “We must take no steps backward, our steps must be onward, for if we don’t, the martyrs that died for you, for me, for this country will haunt us forever.””

The TD then outlined what kind of Ireland we wanted, one of equality for all and a rights based society where no-one is left behind. “Delivering Irish Unity is the key to building a new Ireland. That is where it starts.”

Imelda Munster then talked about Brexit and the challenges ahead. “groups that are seeking to impose Brexit and place an EU frontier or a ‘hard border’ across our island, they want to drag us back into the dark days again when we couldn’t even drive up the road here to Newry without having to be interrogated by men in foreign uniforms as to where we were going and why?

“These people do not care for you, me, our citizens, our rights or our economy. They are now attacking the Good Friday Agreement. An Agreement that belongs to the people of Ireland, not the Tories in London.”

Speaking to the large crowd Munster warned of the work ahead:

“We face many challenges in the very near future:

  • A referendum to remove article 8 from the constitution.
  • We need to prepare and win the coming elections.
  • We need to settle Brexit with preferably a United Ireland by moving the border to the Irish Sea or at the very least, to secure special status for the North within the EU
  • We need to secure and win a referendum on Irish unity.
  • We need to have the institutions re-established in the North, with Michelle O’Neill as joint first minister. We need to secure the right of citizens to marriage equality, to language rights.
  • We need to promote the cause of reconciliation.

“The Challenges are great but we are greater. We must mobilise people and organise for change.”

Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú who was chairing the event in Dundalk called on Leo Varadkar and the Dublin Government to move to recognise the State of Palestine and to immediately expel the Israeli Ambassador from Ireland following the massacre of 16 people in Gaza by the Israeli military.

The organisers of the events in Louth wish to thank those who helped ensure that each parade and wreath laying ceremony was a dignified and fitting tribute to the memory of our patriot dead. They want to thank the speakers Imelda Munster TD and Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú, the colour parties, the Martin Doco Band from Scotland, the stewards, those who erected the flags and PA systems and to the many hundreds who attended the parades. Míle buíochas.

 

Drogheda Easter Comm: Ó Murchú Calls for Israeli Amb. Expulsion

Republicans throughout Louth turned out in large numbers to remember the Easter Rising of 1916 and also pay tribute to all of those who, in every decade since 1916, stood by Ireland and stood by the Republic.

Councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú, who is Sinn Féin’s General Election candidate was speaking in Drogheda on Easter Sunday morning to a large crowd. He remembered people from the Drogheda area “like John Moran and Sinn Féin Councillor Thomas Halpin who were taken from their homes and shot by the Black and Tans in 1921. We also recall Tim Flanaghan, Liam Leech, Barney Daly and the Republicans who fell during the absolute tragedy that was the Civil War.”

Ruairi Ó Murchú, Joanna Byrne, Imelda Munster and writer Laurence McKeown

Cllr Ó Murchú also paid tribute to other self-determination struggles throughout the world. “We salute the Basque and the Catalonian liberation Struggle which is presently facing the anti-democratic repression of the Spanish State.”

Cllr Ó Murchú also told those gathered that “Irish Republicans stand with Palestine.” He called on “Leo Varadkar and the Dublin Government to move to recognise the State of Palestine and to expel the Israeli ambassador out of Ireland following the massacre of sixteen Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli military.”

Looking to the future, Cllr Ó Murchú said “a 32 county democratic Republic, prosperous, with real equality of opportunity and outcome in all aspects of life, for all its people is the only rightful payment we owe to the martyrs who gave their lives for Irish freedom.”

The event was chaired by Drogheda Councillor Joanna Byrne.

 

Martin McGuinness Remembered at Easter Commemoration

Welcoming the crowd to the republican monument on the Marsh Rd Sinn Féin member Joanne Thompson said

“You are all very welcome here today to join us for our 2017 Easter commeration. We are not only honouring our fallen heroes of the Easter rising of 1916 but all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom. Here on this monument as most you know we have the names of Sean Moran and alderman John Halplin members of Sinn Féin who were brutally murdered at this spot in 192. Captain Tim Flannigan who was murdered in 1922 while on active duty”.

Remembering martin McGuinness and local longstanding member of Sinn Féin Maureen O’Neill, Joanne said

Joanne Thompson

“This year as a party Sinn Fein lost not only a leader but a personal hero of mine and many of yours here today. On the 21st of March our comrade Martin McGuinness passed away after a short battle with illness. His death hit us all very hard and while we process his death and the loss to the party we are very lucky as we know that his legacy will live on.
Locally this year we also lost one of our own. In mid-March Maureen O’Neill passed away. Maureen a lifelong member helped organise the formation of the local Bobby Sands cumman in the early 80s. She played a major role in highlighting the plight of protesting prisoners in Long Kesh when in 1981 she walked across West St in a blanket in support of the hunger strikers”.

Cathal Boylan MLA

 

Wreaths were laid on behalf of Oglaigh Na hÉireann, (Peter O’Neill), Bobby Sands Cumann Sinn Féin, (Imelda Munster, Cpt Tim Flanagan Cumann Sinn Féin, (Danny Churchill) and Colonel Leonard Sinn Féin Cumann, (David Cusack).

After a minute silence the proclamation was read by Donna Lawless and the main speech was delivered by Cathal Boylan MLA Newry & South Armagh.

Louth Easter Commemorations

Louth Sinn Féin will be commemorating the sacrifice of our patriot dead at the following places and times:

Easter Saturday – 15th April

12 noon – Quay Street, Dundalk, Wreath Laying Ceremony. This is the Watters Brothers Commemoration. Assemble at Quay Street where wreaths will be laid at the spot where brothers John and Patrick Watters were shot down by the Black & Tans in 1921.

2.00pm – Knockbridge, Wreath Laying Ceremony . Wreath laying at Knockbridge to honour 4th Northern Division IRA, veterans and Fianna Eireann.

 

Main Parades on Easter Sunday 16th April

12 noon – Drogheda. Assemble at St Peter’s, West Street after 11am Mass (Period Dress welcome)

2.30pm – Dundalk. Assemble at Market Square (Period Dress welcome)

The main speaker for Drogheda and Dundalk Commemorations will be the recently re-elected MLA for Newry & Armagh, Cathal Boylan. (pictured above)

Easter Celebrations

Memorial at Knockbridge

Memorial at Knockbridge

Easter is a time for republicans everywhere to come together and remember the sacrifice of those in 1916 and to honour all our patriot dead. Louth celebrations will be as follows:

Saturday 4th April 2015

12:00 Watters Brothers Commemoration. Assemble at bridge beside Windmill Bar in   Dundalk. Speakers – Damien Johnston & JJ Quigley

2:00 Wreath laying at Knockbridge to honour 4th Northern Division IRA, veterans and Fianna Eireann. Speaker – Tomás Sharkey

 

Sunday 5th April 2015

12:00 Easter Commemoration in Drogheda. Assemble West Street. Speaker – Imelda Munster

2:30 Easter Commemoration in Dundalk. Assemble at the Square. Speaker – Imelda Munster

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of 1916. Let’s make this year a dry run for next year and bring your family and friends along and honour the memory of those who have gone before us.