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Remembering those who lost lives for independence



MILLSTREET marked the 1916 Easter Rising and those involved in the War of Independence at an impressive ceremony in the Town Square on Easter Sunday.

A special monument committee, involving a cross section of the community, have worked tirelessly towards enhancing the symbol of the War of Independence. The monument was officially launched in 1927 by Minister for Home Affairs Austin Stack and it has been refurbished in recent years.

Boosted by favourable weather, Millstreet Pipe Band led a parade to the Town Square where, at the monument, Noel Keating laid a wreath to acknowledge those who sacrificed their lives for independence and particularly five natives from the greater Millstreet region.

Amongst those commemorated at the monument is Captain Con Murphy who in 1921 became the first volunteer of Oglaigh na hEireann to die before a firing squad since the 1916 executions.

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Also commemorated are Paddy McCarthy, killed by the Black and Tans; Mikie Dineen, fatally wounded by the Crown Forces in Ivale; Bernard Moynihan, killed by the Black and Tans near Rathcoole and Michael Twohig, murdered on the railway track near Shananuck.

The deeds of the five martyrs and those who fought in the 1916 Rising were acknowledged by speakers at the Millstreet commemoration presided over by Jerry Lehane.

The tricolour was risen by Con Foley under the bugle playing of Michael Dineen, followed by the proclamation read by Cllr Noel Buckley with a decade of the rosary recited by Josephine Murphy.

An oration delivered by Aubane Historical Society President Jack Lane recalled the deeds of national and local figures who are fittingly acknowledged at the 87h Annual staging since the Millstreet Monument was erected.

"The Easter Rising deserves a wholehearted commemoration without apology or reservation and I hope that it will continue be done in that spirit here and throughout the country and especially on the 100th anniversary in 2016", he said.

Also remembered at the commemoration were the late Donnacha Murphy and Paddy Dineen, who continuously supported the annual gathering. Thanks were expressed by Chairman Jerry Lehane to all those who assisted towards the commemoration.

It initiated in the mid 1920s, where survivors from the War of Independence convened to erect a fitting memorial to those colleagues. The monument was sculptured by Kryle Holland and the proposed inscription was initially checked by Maire Nic Shuibhne, sister of the former martyr and Lord Mayor of Cork Terence McSweeney.

Cullen poet Domhnall O Conchubhair composed the poetry and the monument was unveiled in 1927. Though renovated in 1983, the monument deteriorated in subsequent years before the present Millstreet National Monuments Committee took on the refurbishment task and maintained it.