Thursday, 9 April 2015

Successful Easter Events in Newry for éirígí

It certainly was a busy day for éirígí in the South Down and South Armagh area yesterday as a political tour of the area coincided with a number of wreath laying ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

The republican struggle from 1798 to the present day was remembered as the tour made its way around an area with a formidable history of resistance to British rule. In Camlough respects were paid by the grave of 1981 Hungerstriker Raymond McCreesh.

At the scene of the Egyptian Arch ambush Gemma Watson laid a wreath in memory of the IRA Volunteers who died there in 1920.

The well-know local republican Pat McNamee, Micheal Doran and the independent Councillor Davy Hyland all laid wreaths in Newry - in Derrybeg, Barcroft and Barley Lane respectively.

The tour concluded with a visit to the republican graves in St Mary's cemetery, including the final resting place of Patrick Rankin, the only Newry man who fought in the 1916 Rising. Patrick cycled from Newry to Dublin to join his comrades in the fight for a Republic.

Also visited was the grave of John Francis Quinn who was commandant general of the IRA and O.C of the 4th Northern Division prior to his death at the hand of Free State forces.

The tour finished at the Republican plot where tributes were paid to all the Volunteers who gave their lives in the fight for liberty. Fair play to everyone who took the time to take part. It was great to see so many people taking an interest in the republican history of the area. And a particular shout out to Stephen Murney, ex-prisoner and local tour guide!

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