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Photos from Jim Gralton Commemoration

category leitrim | history and heritage | news report author Déardaoin Aibreán 27, 2006 16:45author by Jim Report this post to the editors

The Annual Jim Gralton Commemorative Weekend and School took place in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, on the weekend of the 22nd/23rd April.
March in commemoration of Jim Gralton
March in commemoration of Jim Gralton

The School focused on the Proclamation as a basis for discussion and the title of this years event is “1916 – A Proclamation Unfulfilled.”

On Sunday afternoon a Commemorative Ceremony at the site of the Gralton’s Pearse-Connolly Hall, Effernagh took place. The Hall was burned down and Gralton was deported from Ireland for been a socialist. He travelled to the US where he was at the forefront of organising workers of all nationalities.

The commemorative weekend was well attended by members of the Labour and Communist movement from around the island.

Site of the Pearse Connolly memorial hall
Site of the Pearse Connolly memorial hall

Vincent Mc Grath of the Rossport Five
Vincent Mc Grath of the Rossport Five

Declan Bree gives the closing address
Declan Bree gives the closing address

author by pat cpublication date Déar Aib 27, 2006 19:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the dread mobile strikes again. who is that guy on the platform taking a call while declan bree is speaking? its showing disrespect for the event and bree, at the very least he could have left the platform. its some platform though! i've heard and read of such platforms but never seen one before.

author by YETIpublication date Déar Aib 27, 2006 23:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Presumably Vincent was on the phone to the rest of the Rossport Five saying : "It's amazing. It's just a sheet of wood on some beer casks..."

author by Jimpublication date Aoine Aib 28, 2006 12:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I never even noticed Vincent on the mobile when Declan Bree was speaking so he must have been very quiet and un obtrusive. Vincent gave a really excellent speech as well, very well researched and clearly from the heart.

author by badmanpublication date Aoine Aib 28, 2006 12:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He's fixing his glasses. There is no mobile phone.

author by pat cpublication date Aoine Aib 28, 2006 12:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

he could have a communication device in his spectacles. ok, mea culpa, i guess he doesnt have a mobile, looked as if he did though.

again my congratulations on the platform.

author by Yenukidzepublication date Aoine Aib 28, 2006 12:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And it wasn't even airbrushed.

author by Mediumpublication date Aoine Aib 28, 2006 12:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

OK, he was not using a phone, he was probably using telepathy.

author by Breffinipublication date Aoine Aib 28, 2006 20:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It was a great afternoon in Effernagh. All the speakers were excellent Vincent McGrath, Kenny, Bree and McCann. Jim Dolan, the chap from Cavan who chaired the meeting was also very capable (I am told that he is an ex labour councillor) The platform was pure ‘Leitrim’ - no frills - I really thought it was going to collapse at one stage. While I didn’t make it to the school itself I gather that it was also very successful with lots of contributions from all sections of the left – I also understand that they were also very polite to each other! A comment was made by someone on Sunday that given that the event was in Leitrim it was strange that only one local Sinn Fein member turned up at the school. I was at the last gralton school in Drumshambo some years ago and I can only say that it is great to see the event revived. It is one of the very few non sectarian conferences organised by the left in Ireland and Bree and his committee deserve credit for it. The few pints with the locals afterwards were also enjoyable – although the choice of music was dire. Overall a good weekend for Leitrim and the left.

author by Oisín - ÓSFpublication date Sath Aib 29, 2006 19:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Chair of the meeting pictured was Paul Dolan, ex-Labour and former Urban Disrict Counciller, also my father but thats irrelevent. Secondly, the music was nothing to do with the Gralton committee, which was why we all chose to drink outside and finally I'm from SF so there was two shinners present, could of been more though. It did get a page in An Phoblacht so there's always next year.

Congratulations to Declan Bree and all the Committee for a great weekend.

author by J. Mulrooneypublication date Domh Aib 30, 2006 03:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While the Shinners may have been weak on the ground it was worthy of note that Gabriel McSharry who chaired one of the sessions at the School was described on the programme as a “North Leitrim Political Activist”

People outside Leitrim may not have read the ‘Leitrim Observer’ last month which stated:

Labour Party in crisis as McSharry resigns

The Labour Party in north Leitrim has been thrown into chaos with the news that the entire party membership in the area, bar one, has resigned following the decision of long time standard bearer and north Leitrim spokesman Gabriel McSharry to quit the party.

And in another blow to the Labour Party, south Leitrim spokesman Garreth McDaid has also resigned from the party, informing the Observer that he intends to organise a branch of the Green Party in the area.

The news was described as a "devastating blow" by former Sligo/Leitrim TD, Cllr Declan Bree who claimed McSharry's decision was linked to the Labour Party's refusal to add the community activist to the Labour Party ticket for the new Sligo/north Leitrim constituency.

McSharry told the Leitrim Observer "I have spent the last decade and a half working for the party, giving my best effort on local and national issues. The time has now come to step aside from the Labour Party and let some of the new faces in the party get on with the job."

However, Mr McSharry did not rule out continuing his political career, either as an independent or with another party. "I am ruling nothing in or out. The party have been notified of my decision and my decision is final. I intend to spend some time in the USA in the coming weeks. This time will be spent assessing the best way to move forward for my family, the community and myself."

Regarding the resignation of other members of the party, Mr McSharry said "I have no axe to grind and I did not encourage anyone to resign. I know some have resigned but I have no knowledge for a fact that all of the members in north Leitrim have resigned.

"I have put it as simple as possible, I have resigned for personal reasons but I intend to continue to work for the community in the future," added Mr McSharry.

Mr McSharry went on to say "I wish to pay tribute to all who have helped and supported me over the many years with the party. In particular, the hundreds of people who voted for me at the last local elections.

"I am deeply indebted to you all, also the written media, the Leitrim Observer, the Sligo Champion, The Weekender and the local radio station, Ocean FM, for their balance, fairness and professionalism in dealing effectively, efficiently and impartially on all issues I raised during my time as a Labour party representative in the region."

A noted community activist, Mr McSharry is deeply involved with numerous groups, including the McDermott Terrace Residents' Association and the Michael Clancy Memorial Pool Committee.

Mr McSharry's resignation from the Labour Party was described as a "devastating blow" by former Sligo/ Leitrim TD, Cllr Declan Bree.

"I would consider Gabriel McSharry's resignation as a devastating blow to the Labour Party in the constituency and in the region.

"Not only has Gabriel resigned but I understand that the entire membership of the Labour Party in north Leitrim, with the exception of one person, have decided not to renew their membership of the party.

"Gabriel McSharry has been the standard bearer of the Labour Party in Leitrim for almost 15 years. When Gabriel joined the Labour Party in the early 90s, there was not one solitary party member in the entire North Leitrim area.

"When he became a member, Gabriel organised and built up an organisation in Leitrim that is the envy of Party branches throughout the West.
"People from all sides of the political divide in Leitrim have testified to Gabriel's dedication, ability and energy as a political activist and there was a general recognition that come the next local elections, he would be the first ever Labour Councillor in Leitrim.

"In fact, the Party Leader Pat Rabbitte travelled to Leitrim before the last local elections to speak at Gabriel McSharry's selection convention and to endorse Gabriel's campaign.

"Things have clearly changed in the intervening period. Despite the fact that the entire membership of the Labour Party in Leitrim wanted Gabriel added as a Party candidate to contest the next General Election, and despite the fact that the Sligo-Leitrim Constituency Council had requested that his name be added to the ticket, the Party leadership in Dublin consistently refused to include him as a candidate.

"Despite Gabriel's work for the party over the years and despite his dedication, it is clear that the Party leadership has no hesitation in sacrificing him and the entire north Leitrim membership rather than add him as a second candidate on the Labour Party ticket in the constituency.

"It would appear that the Labour General Election campaign in Sligo/north Leitrim will be solely about sweeping up preference votes for Fine Gael.

"It has taken years to build up a Labour Party presence in County Leitrim, yet the Party leadership appears to have no regard for all that work and effort. It would seem that Gabriel McSharry and the party members in Leitrim mean nothing to the Labour Party leadership." said Councillor Bree.

In another blow to the Labour Party in the county, Garreth McDaid confirmed that he had also resigned from the party. However, he stressed that his resignation was not related to that of Mr McSharry.

"My resignation from the Labour Party is not related to Gabriel's. I just didn't feel I could relate to what was happening in the Labour Party at national and local level. I will still be involved with politics, just not with the Labour Party."

Expanding on that theme, Mr McDaid said "I want to devote my energies to other things and I am trying to get a Green Party branch set up here in the area. Between Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo, there are forty or so members of the Green Party but they are not formed into any group."

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