Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta

National Irish Freedom Committee

Easter Commemoration Report.htm

A Tribute to the Signatories of the 1916 Proclamation and the Other Executed Leaders of 1916

 Des Dalton, President of Sinn Fein Poblachtach (Republican Sinn Fein) made a surprise appearance at Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta’s Easter commemoration in The Woodlawn Cemetery, in the Bronx, New York.

 On a beautiful sunny New York Easter Sunday morning, Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta (CnSN) / National Irish Freedom Committee (NIFC), as in previous years, began their Easter Commemoration at the grave of Joseph Stynes - IRA veteran from the Irish War of Independence.  Joe Stynes, along with Michael Flannery, Mike Skeahan and George Harrison, was a co-founder of CnSN.  Because heavy rain was forecast for the morning (which came in buckets later) most people had been advised to proceed directly to the Heritage, on McLean Avenue in Yonkers, where the second part of the event was scheduled to be held.  Despite the warning, more people that expected did attend the ceremony in the cemetery, including members of Joe Stynes’ family, who were thrilled to meet Des Dalton.  Both Des and Joe Stynes are natives of Cill Dara (Kildare).

 To the piping of Brendan Byrne, the proceedings at Woodlawn were conducted by Séamus Ó Dubhda and Liam Ó Murchú, both veteran Irish Republican activists.  Séamus read Forógra na Cáisce as Gaeilge, and Liam delivered an oration about the meaning of Easter Week 1916.

Prior to the conclusion of the brief ceremony, Liam called Des Dalton to address the gathering, which he did, speaking of Joe Stynes’ life long dedication and contribution to the cause of the 32-county Irish Republic proclaimed in arms in 1916.  In addition to being a volunteer Ireland, in America Joe was a leader of Clan na Gael, and like Mike Flannery, active in the GAA.

 Liam then proceeded, along with Des and others, to visit the nearby grave of Galway-born Union Army veteran, Colonel Thomas Kelly, Fenian and Chief Organizer of the Irish Republic in 1867.  It was Kelly who, along with Captain Timothy Deasy, was rescued in the “smashing of the van”, for which the “Manchester Martyrs” Allen, Larkin and O’Brien, were later hanged – God Save Ireland!    

 At The Heritage, Bean an Tigh Jane Enright, welcomed everyone and introduced Des Dalton to a round of applause.  Jane called upon Maggie Trainor to read The Proclamation of the Irish Republic.  [Maggie is the US honoree for this year’s Cabhair Awards Dinner.]

 Next, Jane called upon Liam Ó Murchú to give a brief overview of the significance of the seven 1916 Signatories.  At this point, Jane explained that the format for 2011 NIFC commemorations was intended to be the beginning of the NIFC’s Countdown to 2016 program.  The program features choosing a number Executed Signatories and a number of other Executed Leaders each year, and have their roles in the Rising highlighted. That task fell to Chris Dugan, who paid tribute to James Connolly and to Josh Jacobs, who did likewise for Seán Mac Diarmada. 

 Brian Mór Ó Baoighill, the distinguished Irish republican activist and renowned Celtic artist gave a brief overview of the Other Executed leaders of 1916 and three of them were chosen to be highlighted this year.  Mary Courtney paid tribute to Roger Casement; Maighréad Ní Dhubhda paid tribute Con Colbert; and, Alana Harrison paid tribute to Ned Daly.  Seosamh Ó Flatharta read the NIFC Easter Message, and Pat Williams read the Message from the Republican Movement in Ireland.  Jane Enright then called upon Des Dalton to speak.  Des delivered a very well received oration and was interrupted by applause on a number of occasions.  The 2011 Easter Commemoration closed with the singing of Thomas Davis’ “A Nation Once Again.” 


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