Thursday 20 June 2019

Crowd attend centenary VC hero talk

To commemorate the centenary of the awarding of the Victory Cross to CSM Martin Doyle - New Ross Library hosted a lecture given by Irish Times journalist, author, editor and presenter Ronan McGreevy in front of a large crowd, including relatives of Doyle, one of New Ross town's most celebrated sons.

McGreevy told the story of Doyle who was born in New Ross on October 25, 1894, and lied about his age to join the British army on St Stephen's Day, 1909, when he was barely 15. He successfully led a bayonet charge on a German machine-gun post in a derelict barn in no-man's-land.

The official announcement from the British Army concluded: 'Throughout the whole of these operations, Doyle set the very highest example to all ranks by his courage and total disregard of danger.'

When the awarding of his VC was confirmed, he wrote to his parents: 'I am all in a whirl of joy.'

Doyle won the Victoria Cross and the Military Medal fighting for Britain in the First World War. Yet, like many of his contemporaries, he joined the IRA during the War of Independence and played his part in the struggle which led to Irish freedom. His story personifies many of the contradictions and shifting loyalties of Irish people during the revolutionary period.

A plaque has been dedicated to Doyle and will be placed outside his family home on Mary Street by New Ross Municipal District.

New Ross Standard