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Search words: bodenstown

National - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Annual Wolfetone Commemoration in bodenstown!

category national | miscellaneous | event notice author Wednesday June 14, 2006 16:32author by Ógra B - Ógra Shinn Féinauthor email osf6county at yahoo dot com Report this post to the editors

Annual Wolfetone Commemoration

bodenstown, County Kildare

Main Speaker: Gerry Kelly MLA

Assemble @ 2pm

Sallins, County Kildare

Wolfetone, leader of the United Irishmen!
Wolfetone, leader of the United Irishmen!

"What's bodenstown?" a young Sinn Féin activist recently asked me. In times gone by the question would have been slightly alarming. "How could you not know that?" might have been the response. For years bodenstown was the main national gathering of republicans and the occasion of the keynote political message of the year. It has long been eclipsed by the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis and other events but this year the re-constituted Coiste Chuimhneachán Náisiúnta of Sinn Féin is asking republicans to turn the event into a national mobilisation once again.

For the geographically challenged, bodenstown is near the village of Sallins, County Kildare. For the historically challenged it is the last resting place of Theobald Wolfe Tone, founder of the United Irishmen and the first leading light of Irish Republicanism. Tone was a Dubliner but his family had Kildare connections and after his death in British custody in Dublin in 1798 it is believed he was buried in the small graveyard at bodenstown, beside the tumbledown remains of the old church.

It is not known precisely when the annual Republican 'pilgrimage' to bodenstown began. It must have been visited in a semi-organised way as early as the 1840s because Thomas Davis (died 1845) wrote one of his most famous songs about it: "In bodenstown Churchyard there is a green grave..." The centenary of the 1798 Rising in 1898 saw commemorations in bodenstown, including one organised by the '98 Rank and File Committee and at which the orator was James Connolly.

Last year we marked the centenary of the founding of Sinn Féin but the followers of Wolfe Tone were few and far between in 1905. A Royal Irish Constabulary report of the bodenstown commemoration that year, still preserved in the British records in London, states that there were only about 80 people present, showing "the failure of treasonable or revolutionary demonstrations in Ireland at the present day".

By 1913 things were looking up. Large crowds marched to Wolfe Tone's grave. The ceremony was chaired by veteran Fenian Tom Clarke and the oration was given by Pádraig Pearse. He described Tone's grave as the "holiest spot in Ireland" because Tone was "the greatest of Irishmen". bodenstown 1914 was the first occasion on which Óglaigh na hÉireann (Irish Volunteers) and the Irish Citizen Army marched together. Jim Larkin was present. This was in the wake of the Great Lockout and Larkin was cheered by the crowds, showing the solidarity between Republicans and the Labour movement.

One of the best known photographs of bodenstown shows Liam Mellows delivering the oration in 1922. Within days of the commemoration the IRA occupied the Four Courts, the bombardment of which by the Free State government commenced the Civil War.

The Cosgrave government banned the commemoration in 1931 but the ban was defied and 10,000 people took part, including IRA units from most of the 32 Counties. There was even a contingent from Fianna Fáil. But five years later the Fianna Fáil government itself banned the parade and the commemoration took the form of a meeting near Sallins attended mainly by leading republican women, including Hannah Sheehy Skeffington who gave a speech.

In the 70 years since then crowds at bodenstown have ebbed and flowed with the fortunes of republicanism. The huge crowds of the early '30s were replicated in the '70s and early '80s, with large numbers from the Six Counties. It is fair to say that in recent years attendances have not properly reflected the growing national strength of Sinn Féin, with the crowds mainly drawn from Leinster. 2006 is the year to put that right and all areas are encouraged to organise now for Sunday 18 June.

See you at bodenstown.

Gerry Kelly to address bodenstown 2006
The 25th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike will form the theme of this year's bodenstown Commemoration. The main speaker is Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle member and North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly.

Republican former POWs will form the main Colour Party for the parade to bodenstown and are asked to attend wearing black trousers, white shirt and black tie. All republican former POWs interested in participating should contact Olive Sloan at 44 Parnell Square or their local ex-prisoners' group.

All areas are asked to mobilise for this year's event and Coiste Chuimhneachán Náisiúnta requests all Sinn Féin Cuigí to set up commemoration committees for their region, appointing one person in the area to liase with the National Committee.

Areas should contact Ard Oifig with names and contact details of republicans in their area who may not be tied into party structures or ex-prisoner groups, particularly older people. Such individuals can then be invited by the National Committee to attend bodenstown and provisions made in terms of food, seating and transport.

The annual bands competition will again take place at this year's commemoration and participating bands are asked to register in advance by contacting Olive at 44 Parnell Square. The commemoration ceremony will feature readings from the writings of Bobby Sands. A special issue pamphlet on the theme of republicanism's unbroken connection will be distributed on the day.

Related Link: http://www.osf.pro.ie

Crowds March in Bodenstown!
Crowds March in Bodenstown!

author by Mac Gearailt - Cumann na Saoirsepublication date Wed Jun 14, 2006 17:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why am I not surprised to see a young Provisional activist asking what Bodenstown is?

author by ograpublication date Wed Jun 14, 2006 20:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What's Bodenstown?" a young Sinn Féin activist recently asked me

says it all doesnt it?

author by 4Provinces1Countrypublication date Wed Jun 14, 2006 21:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At a recent Provisional Sinn Fein event in Dublin I got to talking to one young lad who was dressed in a military uniform to commemorate the War of Independence.
"Ah it was a desperate struggle" I says, "but they fought and sacrificed themselves because they truly believed",
adding to finish off "not like the current shower".
The young lad looked at me with fire in his eyes and replied "Oh no, the struggle goes on, we have to fight to get Stormont up and running".

If that's the campaign the provisional movement considers to be a struggle worth fighting and dying for,
then count me out.


author by Sean McIntyrepublication date Wed Jun 14, 2006 21:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Authentic Republican's held their commemoration already. You can read the oration at the following link.


Related Link: http://www.rsf.ie
author by Donnchadhpublication date Thu Jun 15, 2006 02:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would be very interested to read this pamphlet that is being distributed on the day about Republicanism's unbroken tradition - is Republican Sinn Fein writing it for you? Because the current provisional leadership has broken every link possible with the past generations who came to Bodenstown, year after year, rededicating themselves to the 32 county Irish Republic, and confirming their pledge never to turn their backs on that Republic by entering and swearing allegiance to British created partitionist assemblies which usurp the functions of the Republic. I wonder what the title of the pamphlet will be? May I suggest the word "Continuity?"

author by Donnchadhpublication date Thu Jun 15, 2006 02:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No doubt the readings from Bobby Sands will not include the ones where he tells us that he is suffering, not for British equality of treatment or British civil rights, still less for Stormont and the GFA, but he was making the supreme sacrifice as a soldier of the unbroken, unbowed Republic.

author by Jacksonpublication date Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shouldn't this thread be entitled 'One of the numerous annual bodenstown commemorations' ?
AFAIK Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour, RSF, Workers Party, CPI all hold events there.

If you know of any others please add to the list

Poor oul Tone must be sick to the gills with all this disturbance. Allez le France!!

author by Con Carrollpublication date Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

class war. with intelligence officer.

author by Tone it down, Wolfie boy !publication date Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tone's Grave
(Thomas Davis)

In Bodenstown churchyard there is a green grave,
And wildly around it the winter winds rave;
Small shelter I ween are the ruined walls there
When the storm sweeps down on the plains of Kildare.
Once I lay on that sod it lies over Wolfe Tone
And thought how he perished in prison alone,
His friends unavenged and his country unfreed
"Oh, bitter," I said, "is the patriots mead.

"For in him the heart of a woman combined
With heroic spirit and a governing mind
A martyr for Ireland, his grave has no stone
His name seldom named, and his virtues unknown."
I was woke from my dream by the voices and tread
Of a band who came into the home of the dead;
They carried no corpse, and they carried no stone,
And they stopped when they came to the grave of Wolfe Tone.

There were students and peasants, the wise and the brave,
And an old man who knew him from cradle to grave,
And children who thought me hard-hearted, for they
On that sanctified sod were forbidden to play.
But the old man, who saw I was mourning there, said:
"We come, sir, to weep where young Wolfe Tone is laid,
And we're going to raise him a monument, too
A plain one, yet fit for the loyal and true."

My heart overflowed, and I clasped his old hand,
And I blessed him, and blessed every one of his band:
"Sweet, sweet tis to find that such faith can remain
In the cause and the man so long vanquished and slain."
In Bodenstown churchyard there is a green grave,
And freely around it let winter winds rave
Far better they suit him the ruin and gloom
Till Ireland, a nation, can build him a tomb.

author by Liam Lynchpublication date Sun Jun 18, 2006 22:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Was British withdrawal mentioned even once today? Was socialism? Was the All-Ireland Republic? How about the fact that there are still Republican prisoners in Ireland today?

Or just more or less the same thing we could hear at Fianna Fail's commemoration?

Related Link: http://nootherlaw.blogspot.com/
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