Friday 30 September 2016

Different generations join together in common cause

Published 29/03/2016 | 02:30

Shane Dunne Colclough, great grandson of John Dunne, Eamon O Cuiv, grandson of Eamon de Valera and Acting Minister for Transport Pascal Donohoe at the 1916 Bolands Mill wreath-laying ceremony at Grand Canal Dock Photo: Tony Gavin
Shane Dunne Colclough, great grandson of John Dunne, Eamon O Cuiv, grandson of Eamon de Valera and Acting Minister for Transport Pascal Donohoe at the 1916 Bolands Mill wreath-laying ceremony at Grand Canal Dock Photo: Tony Gavin

Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuív described laying a wreath at Boland's Mill in remembrance of his late grandfather, Éamon de Valera, as "one of the best honours" of his life.

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The Galway TD was joined by Shane Dunne Colclough, a descendant of 1916 sniper Jack Dunne, and acting Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe to remember those who battled the British at the historic building by Dublin's Grand Canal a century ago this Easter.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Ó Cuív said: "It was a huge honour, one of the best honours in my life, to have been asked to lay the wreath with Shane.

"We're representatives, obviously, from a different generation - but (with) a common cause. My grandfather was the commandant here, but it was the whole group that made the stand of 1916."

Mr Ó Cuív continued: "The weekend has been so incredibly moving. I think it's a reminder to us all that people made huge sacrifices for what we enjoy today and maybe it's a challenge to us going forward to live up to that sacrifice."

Hundreds of people braved the bitter March wind to pay tribute to the third battalion of the Irish Volunteers, led by former Taoiseach and President of Ireland de Valera - one of the few to claim any military success during the Rising.

Across the capital, wreaths were simultaneously laid at six other rebel strongholds, including the Jacob's Factory and the Royal College of Surgeons, as the centenary commemorations continued.

Acknowledging "the ideals they stood for," Mr Donohoe said: "This is a legacy that we must cherish and one which we should all renew through a deeper sense of idealism and civic purpose."

After jetting all the way from Frankfurt with her mum and dad for the occasion, three-month-old Clara O'Shea stayed wide awake for the poignant commemorative proceedings.

Dad David O'Shea - originally from Dublin but living in Frankfurt - joked: "We tried to time her sleeping and feeding patterns today so that she would sleep through, but it didn't go that way.

"She wanted to get involved. We came over on the 15th for St Patrick's Day and we're going back next Tuesday."

He explained: "I wanted her to be here for it. It was important to me and hopefully one day it will be important to her as well.

"We've lots of photographs to prove that she was here."

Irish Independent

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