Tuesday 17 September 2019

GAA remember boy killed in 1920 Bloody Sunday massacre

The GAA honour Bloody Sunday victim. Stock photo
The GAA honour Bloody Sunday victim. Stock photo
Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

THE GAA has unveiled a monument at Glasnevin Cemetery in memory of a boy who was tragically killed at Croke Park on Bloody Sunday in 1920.

John William Scott (14), known locally as ‘Billy’, was one of three school children to be killed when Crown Forces opened fire on a Dublin-Tipperary football match on November 21st - killing 14 people and wounding dozens more.

The young schoolboy was a resident on nearby Fitzroy Avenue which lies in the shadow of the stadium

Members of the GAA community gathered at the cemetery to formally honour Scott, who until now, was among eight victims without formal recognition of their final resting place.

President of the GAA John Horan said it was important to remember the victims who lost their lives while innocently making their way to a football match - a journey which thousands continue to do today.

“We can all empathise, no more than myself, as a teenager going down to Croke Park to witness a game of football and see people enjoying themselves,” he said.

“But Billy, as he was known, unfortunately never came home to his house in Fitzroy Avenue.

“His life was taken from him and his father had to encounter that moment of being given his glasses and his tie pin as an indication of the fact that Billy had been mortally wounded on the pitch in Croke Park.”

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The head of the GAA said his grave remained unmarked following the attack but and with no surviving family members, the responsibility was on the GAA community to step up

“Unfortunately, Billy has no remaining family members and we are here today as his GAA family to acknowledge and remember him.

“Anyone who visits this cemetery will remember him as one of those 14 victims of that tragic day for us as an association [and] for us as a country.”

Scott’s grave is the fourth to be unveiled by the GAA’s Bloody Sunday Graves project which aims to have all eight unmarked graves identifiable by 2020.

Along with Scott, two other schoolboys – Jerome O’Leary (10) and William Robinson (11) - were also killed during the attack..

Local resident, Margaret Reilly who lives on Fitzroy Avenue and previously ran newsagents on the street turned up to honour the young victim of the attack 98 years ago.

Ms Reilly, who knew the sister-in-law of Scott who passed away in 2005, said it was it was important to be there to remember him now that all his family members had now died.

“Daisy Scott was a daily customer of mine and my understanding is that Daisy, although she didn’t talk about it very much, was this little boy’s sister-in-law.

“I got information of the wreath-laying ceremony and I felt that as no one misses Scott, who was a dote, that it is very important that these people are remembered and that’s why I came.”

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