Sunday 11 December 2016

Great-great-granddaughter of Skeffington lays rose in tribute

Published 27/04/2016 | 02:30

Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, great-great-grandaughter of Francis Sheehy Skeffinton, at the Centenary Commemoration. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, great-great-grandaughter of Francis Sheehy Skeffinton, at the Centenary Commemoration. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Francis Sheehy Skeffington pictured with his wife Hannah Sheehy Skeffington

Little Hanna Sheehy Skeffington clutched her teddy bear as she laid a single white rose in memory of her great-great-grandfather, Francis Sheehy Skeffington, on the 100th anniversary of his death yesterday.

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The 17-month-old - who shares a name with his suffragette wife - was just one of the family members who gathered at Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines, Dublin, to remember the journalist who was executed during the Easter Rising.

Tributes were also paid to fellow newspaper editors Thomas Dickson and Patrick McIntyre on the spot where they were shot by a firing squad of seven men a century ago.

Speaking at the commemoration, secretary general of the Department of Defence, Maurice Quinn, condemned the executions ordered by Captain Bowen-Colthurst of the Royal Irish Rifles as "unjust and shocking".

He added: "In the case of Francis Sheehy Skeffington, he was returning to his home after holding a meeting in an effort to organise a citizen's resource to prevent looting in the city centre following the events of the Rising.

"In the case of Thomas Dickson and Patrick McIntyre, they were arrested on suspicion of having taken part in the Rising - even though neither man had any connection with it.

"No charges were brought against the three men and, the morning after their arrest, all three were executed without trial."

A minute's silence was observed at the dignified event in honour of the three pacifists before a piper's lament sounded in the chill morning air.

Paying homage to the grandad she never met, Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington from Galway said: "It's very nice that they're honouring my grandfather's memory, because sometimes people forget about what he stood for.

"It was a different vision he had. He wanted independence, but he said, 'Can you not find a way of doing this without killing for your objectives?'"

Irish Independent

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