The 18th Annual Flannery Awards Dinner

  On November 2nd, 2013 Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta held the 18th Annual Michael & Pearl Flannery Testimonial Awards Dinner at Rory Dolan's Restaurant in Yonkers, NY.  Maggie Trainor was MC.  This year the event was a double header, with the new Éire Nua political campaign formally launched after the Awards ceremony.  The Éire Nua Committee is preparing a separate report on the program launch which will be available shortly on www.irishfreedom.net 

Liam Ó Murchú introduced this year's Michael & Pearl Flannery Spirit of Feedom Award recipient, John Dunleavy, Chairman of the New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade. Mr. Dunleavy spoke of his own involvement in supporting Irish and Irish-American groups over the years, as well as his own friendship with and respect for the late Michael Flannery.  Mr. Flannery's long and controversial history with th St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC was also a topic (video of the controversial 1983 Parade is available here: http://youtu.be/CmxuAh5LYDg ). Before leaving the podium, Mr. Dunleavy presented Gerry Conlon with a beautiful Celtic Cross made by Republican prisoners in Long Kesh. 

Gerry Conlon was introduced by his long-time friend, Radio Free Éireann's Sandy Boyer.  Mr. Conlon was presented with the Sister Sarah Clarke Human Rights Award.  Gerry, who knew firsthand the devotion and integrity of Sister Sarah, spoke movingly of "that tiny woman" who did so much for the prisoners.  He related it was the gratefulness and humility he felt from the many who supported him that drives his current struggle to help victims of human rights abuses. 

Radio Free Éireann's Eliza Butler was up next to receive the Seán Mac Diarmada Centenary Award. Maggie Trainor introduced Eliza speaking of her role as producer of Radio Free Éireann.  Eliza's dedication to understanding, preserving, and bridging international cultures was quickly apparent from the litany of research, traveling, and archaeological digs she has been involved with.  Eliza also spoke of the censorship of Irish Rebel music worldwide, citing the experiences of Derek Warfield as well as The Druids and others.  She pointed out that the attack and censorship of Irish Rebel music is an attack on Irish culture. 

Surprise speaker Martin Galvin, former editor of The Irish People, talked at length on the struggle against human rights abuses in Ireland and the need to bring American pressure to bear in support of Irish political prisoners. 

Éire Nua Committee Chairman Seosamh Ó Flatharta introduced Peadar Mac Maghnuis of the New Haven, CT division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Freedom For All Ireland Committee. Peadar provided a run down of this year's successful preparations for launching the Éire Nua political campaign. He welcomed the recent New Haven Division's historic resolution of support of the Éire Nua federal proposals and the interest a number of other states have shown in the Éire Nua campaign in the U.S. 

2013 Cabhair U.S. honoree Brigid Brannigan Farrell was also present to receive her Cabhair award from Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta's Jane Enright.  Ms. Farrell was unable to attend the Cabhair Testimonial Dinner earlier this year, and had asked Jane to accept it on her behalf.  Cabhair is the Irish Republican Political Prisoner Dependent's Fund based in Ireland which has the hard task of providing support to the prisoners and their families. 

A successful auction was held of a lovely framed copy of the Proclamation signed by both the late Ruairí Ó Brádaigh as well as Des Dalton, President of Republican Sinn Féin.

Cards addressed to victims of internment and political policing in Ireland were signed by the attendees. 

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Dinner Photos

          

 

          

 

                  

 

                                   

 

                                 

 

                                 


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