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95th Annual Clonmult Martyrs Commemoration Report

category national | history and heritage | press release author Monday February 22, 2016 21:11author by Séan ÓMurchú - Republican Sinn Féin Poblachtach - Cork Report this post to the editors

The 95th Annual Clonmult Martyrs Commemoration took place in Midleton on Sunday 21st February 2016.

The Commemoration gathered at 2:30pm outside the Courthouse, Main Street, Midleton where a colour party comprising members of the Republican Movement – Cork and Cumann na mBan - Cork assembled.

The 95th Annual Clonmult Martyrs Commemoration took place in Midleton on Sunday 21st February 2016.

The Commemoration gathered at 2:30pm outside the Courthouse, Main Street, Midleton where a colour party comprising members of the Republican Movement – Cork and Cumann na mBan - Cork assembled.

Observed by plainclothes and uniformed Gardaí the commemoration proceeded to St. John the Baptist Churchyard where the proceedings were chaired by Donal Varian. After welcoming everyone a wreath was placed on behalf of the Republican Movement on the grave of Volunteer Deasy, a decade of the rosary was then given.

The Commemoration then continued to the Republican Plot, Holy Rosary Churchyard. Where Donal said a few brief words before asking the following to lay wreaths. Liam Heaphy (Veteran Republican) laid a wreath on behalf of Republican Movement and Cork Republicans, John Mangan (Veteran Republican) on behalf of Cumman na mBan, Donal Dennehy on behalf of the families of the Clonmult Martyrs.
The Last Post and Reveille was played and the flags dipped in salute to the Clonmult Martyrs. A decade of the Rosary was then recited.
Donal then spoke about the sacrifice the Clonmult Boys, the men and women of 1916 and the generations since have made.
He then introduced Alfie McAvoy, Belfast who gave the Oration.

Speaking at the anniversary of the Clonmult ambush on February 21st 2016 Alfie McAvoy paid tribute to the courage of the volunteers at Clonmult.

He said, “It makes me proud to have been given the opportunity to speak here today in memory of the men of Clonmult. I pass through the village of Clonmult regularly. I always get a sense of the history that was made there just as you would get when you'd walk among the pillars of the GPO in Dublin the ambush site at Kilmichael or the execution site at Ballyseedy.”

“It’s the custom at commemorations to give some details of the action which brought about the deaths of the 14 brave Irish freedom fighters back in February 1921. The IRA had assembled an active service unit in a cottage just outside the village of Clonmult to prepare and plan for attacks on the occupying British forces. Acting on information received by an informer the brits surrounded and laid siege to the cottage."

"What followed left 14 Irishmen dead either killed in action, machine gunned after the surrender, or executed at the hands of the British. This was the worst defeat suffered by the IRA in that period of the struggle for Irish freedom, a great loss to their community and to the country. It may be no consolation, but while they were robbed of the opportunity to see their dreams of Irish freedom being fulfilled I believe these men were spared the pain of having to witness the betrayals that lay ahead, betrayals repeated time and again and always instigated by the power hungry politicos within the republican movement.”

“I have often been introduced as a former republican prisoner. My prisons were Long Kesh and Crumlin Road Gaol and my time was the seventies. This country has seen many generations of activists and prisoners who have done their bit to keep alive the struggle for Irish freedom. I was a prisoner of war in the war independence - a war which began with the Easter rising and continued through the decades since including the mislabeled period of 1922-23 and continues today.

"The republican prisoners being held today in many locations are also prisoners of that war. The prisons I was held in are no different to Frongoch, the Curragh, Kilmainham, Portlaiose, or Maghabarry and all were run by agents of the British. Anyone who might doubt the link with the men of Clonmult or 1916 needs only to look at the prisons and camps and their inmates. The republican prisoners of today are living proof that the war of independence continues and will continue until finally self determination is achieved in this country.”

“The election which is in progress at the moment clearly shows the provisional sinn fein faction in a poor light. They have been completely assimilated into the establishment political systems both north and south. The methodology of convincing the Irish people of the righteousness of republican principles and policies has been and still is our way."

"The provisional’s have replaced this with surveys and market research to find out what will make them more popular and then, on the basis of their findings, change their policies and drop what little principle they have left to increase their ratings. They are moving deeper and deeper into the trap which was set back in the early eighties. Last week I experienced this at first hand. I was talking to a provy and all he had to say was that Gerry Adams should go because he is holding them back with his link to the republican struggle. This is how far away from us they have become. And I'm not ashamed to say that it still hurts to see people I stood with against the brits backing the Garda and the PSNI and upholding partition in our country.”

“In a few weeks Easter will be here and the rising will be commemorated like never before, hi-jacked by groups which will be here today and gone tomorrow. Our commemoration no doubt will be small but will stand out as the most sincere, dignified and honorable of those that take place. So let’s leave here today with the knowledge that we are true to the principles of republicanism and that we have done the men of Clonmult proud with our commemoration here today.”

“Tiocfaidh ar la.”

Donal Varian brought the commemoration to a conclusion and thanked Alfie McAvoy and all those in attendance.

Related Link: http://www.rsfcork.com
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