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Thursday 2 October 2014

Killorglin honours those who died in World War I

Kevin Hughes

Published 09/08/2014 | 00:00

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Pa Rochfort and Finola Cronin unveiling the plaque at Library Place, Killorglin to commemorate the men and women from Killorglin Parish who served in the Great War 1914-1918 with Stephen Thompson, organiser and Johnny O’Connor, Killorglin Archive Society on Monday

EXACTLY a century after the outbreak of WWI, a silence descended on Library Place in Killorglin in memory of people from the area who fought on the battlefields of Europe and further afield.

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Organised by the Killorglin Archive Society, a special plaque etched in bronze was unveiled during a dignified ceremony on Monday, inscribed with the simple words: 'In memory of the men and women of Killorglin Parish who served and those who died in The Great War 1914-1918'.

To date some 39 people from the Killorglin area are known to have died during WWI and a further 108 survived but organiser Stephen Thompson says that other families can come forward and have their names listed on the Killorglin Archive Society website.

"These were the names taken from the book 'Kerry's War Dead' which lists around 700 fatalities but we expect that more families will come forward as they learn more about their family history," he said.

Stephen's own grandfather served as a horseman in Egypt and Palestine while his wife Rita's grand-uncle, Patrick Guihan from Meanus, was killed in France in 1918.

"Remembering our war dead has been close to our hearts and I decided to investigate further when the Killorglin Archive Society held an exhibition of local memorabilia in 2012," Stephen said, adding that he contacted John Galvin and local historian Tom Doyle to help him in his quest.

It eventually resulted in the special plaque being commissioned and at Monday's ceremony members of the Royal Munster Fusiliers also attended. Events opened with tunes from the Killorglin Pipe Band, songs from Killorglin Men's Shed Choir and addresses from Killorglin Archive Society Chairman Johnny O'Connor and from Stephen. It ended with prayers for peace and a poignant rendition of anti-war song Waltzing Matilda.

An exhibition, including names of the war dead and survivors, will be held in Killorglin Library and those who wish to have family members added to the list should contact www.killorglinarchives.com.

Kerryman

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