A graveside commemoration ceremony was held at Mount St. Mary’s Cemetery, Queens New York on September 28, 2007 to honor the late Michael Flannery who died on September 30, 1994.
Cumann na Saoırse Náısıúnta organized the ceremony. A wreath was placed on the grave prior to the commencement of the ceremony. The wreath was designed by Shannon Petersen. This commemoration ceremony was the first to be held under the auspices of the Fenian Graves project
The Fenian Graves Association has been established for the purpose of keeping the memory of our Irish American Fenian heroes and heroines alive by recording their deeds and celebrating their lives work on behalf of Irish freedom.
Over the centuries tens of thousands of men and women, who gave so much for the cause of Irish freedom, lie in unmarked graves throughout the Americas. We know not their names nor the moment or manner of their deaths; we can only surmise that they died, as Mike Flannery did, believing that one day Ireland would be free from the claws of the occupying tyrant, and that their work would somehow hasten that day.
Charles Laverty was the chairperson for the event. Charles has compiled a vast collection of information about the lives of many Irish and Irish American activists in the Fenian movement over many years. It is a rich source of information, which he has made available to the Fenian Graves project.
The commemoration was based on Accepting the Challenge’ ‘The Memoirs of Michael Flannery by Dermot O Reilly. Cumann Na Saoirse felt that by reading excerpts from his own book would be a fitting tribute to his memory.
Seán Ó Coisdealbha read the following excerpts from chapter nineteen, titled ‘1994, The Proclamation Still Unfulfilled ’, which was Michael’s own summary of Irish history and its long struggle for soverngeity. In it, Michael said;
‘…There will never be peace in Ireland until the doctrine of Tone and the Proclamation of Easter 1916 are realized. Yet with these just and unalterable documents available to everyone, we have had and still have people looking for half measures or outright betrayal. It began with the Treaty as a stepping stone to freedom, but the stone was submerged in the blood of martyrs and lost in the mud of intrigue and fraud..’
Pat Williams then read the following excerpts from Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s (President of Republican Sinn Féin) tribute to Michael Flannery;
‘…He never failed to expose and challenge in public those who abandoned Republican principles in favor of a career in constitutional politics. He did so without hesitation in 1922,1926,1969, and again in 1986. He took this action from a stern and deep sense of duty…His unfailing allegiance to the Cause of Irish Freedom and to his soldier’s oath to the All Ireland Republic was his guiding star…-
Joshua Jacobs read the following excerpts from George Harrison’s tribute to Michael Flannery;
…’It was indeed a privilege to have known him as a friend and comrade and even a greater privilege to be called to stand trial with him in the Federal Court, shadowed and influenced by the evil specter of Margaret Thatcher who had coldly presided over the long and agonizing death on Bobby Sands and his comrades … He has left us a legacy that we must live up to if we are to complete his unfinished work which is very simply ‘British Out’, based on a referendum for all of the people of Ireland as one unit, followed by a constitutional assembly, which will restore the lost Republic”
Charles Laverty concluded the commemoration ceremony by thanking all those who attended and gave a brief description of the Fenian Graves project.