Wednesday 22 May 2019

The fallen heroes of Fingal honoured

A bright and sunny Easter Sunday saw The Fingal Old IRA Commemorative Society back in the village of Lusk. Lusk provided many of the leaders and men of the Irish Volunteers over the period 1913 - 21. The Society was there to commemorate the men and women who gave so much in the struggle for independence.

The day commenced with a parade escort of Maureen Wright of Post Office Rd to the grave of her grand uncle Thomas Rafferty who was killed in the famous Battle of Ashbourne. The parade was led by a Colour Party headed by Ian Daly who again had the honour of carrying the Tricolour, our National Flag. Maureen laid a wreath on the grave in memory of Thomas. Paul Russell of the Black Raven Pipe Band played a lament in his honour.

This was followed by a full parade of the Society. Its supporters were led by the Pipe Band to the parish church for celebration of mass by Father George Begley. Full Honours were paid with the Royal Salute sounded by bugler John Halford at the moment of Consecration.

This year, during the mass a new member of the Congregation of Lusk, baby Cillian Michael Grogan was baptised. This added an extra dimension to the church service and spoke of birth and renewal.

The events of the day were attended by Fingal Mayor Cllr Anthony Lavin of Malahide. Also, in attendance were Deputy Mayor Grainne Maguire and Councillors Tom O'Leary, Rob O'Donoghue, Darragh Butler and Cathal Boland.

Donabate stalwart Noel McAllister President of the Society acted as MC. He thanked all for attendance and the help and support provided by The Community Council and Fingal County Council.

The Last Post was sounded as the Tricolour was lowered and raised as the Reveílle played. Wreaths were laid by Seán Clare on behalf of the Community Council and Sean Gaffney for the Society. Lusk Cllr. Rob O'Donoghue read the proclamation. Balladeer Seán Kiernan gave great renditions of Grace and The Ballad of Thomas Ashe which was written by local man Martin Byrne.

The Mayor gave a fine address calling for a moment of silent thought for the people of Derry and Lyra McKee who was murdered there. He then continued by congratulating the Society on this their Seventy fifth year since foundation.

This was followed by a tribute paid by the Secretary Paul O'Brien, to Lusk man Peter Gaffney. Peter joined the Society in 1971 although he has found memories of attendance which predate that time. Paul also spoke of Peter's commitment and wiliness to assist the Society. The Cathaoirleach of the Society Cllr. Cathal Boland was then called on to make a presentation to Peter. In doing so Cathal congratulated and complimented Peter on his great service over the years. Cathal Boland then gave a hard hitting addressed in which he clearly set out the core aim of the Society. This is to Protect and Promote the Reputation of the Men and Women who served under the Banner of the Fingal Volunteers in the period 1916-1921. Referring to recent events in Derry and elsewhere he said: 'Those involved are thugs and gangsters who had no interest in a one nation island state rather they wished to destroy any such prospect.'

Fingal Independent