Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta

National Irish Freedom Committee

New Jersey's champions of Irish freedom commemoration

Dominick Bruno -- 10/23/0211

South Orange, NJ – The Fenian Graves Association held a well-attended  function at Cryan's Beef & Ale on Sunday, October 23rd.  The event,  “New Jersey's Champions of Irish Freedom”, commemorated the achievements of Eileen Hayes Ruane, Ellen Farley, John Curran and Mike Delahunty in the cause of Irish unity and freedom.  The presentation  was marked by archival videos and  family testimonials recounting  their struggles and victories.  Bill Scully was Master of Ceremonies. Msg. Kevin Flanagan performed an opening invocation, followed with  readings and testimonials from Tara Costello, Patrick Ruane, Patricia  Farley, Richard Curran, and Tom Giblin.
Eileen Hayes Ruane was a lifelong Republican, from a family steeped  in the Republican traditions of West Limerick.  Active with Cumann na  mBan while in Ireland, she continued her efforts to secure a free and  united Ireland after her emigration to the United States through deep  involvement in Irish-American organizations.

 Ellen Farley similarly devoted her life to the cause of Irish  freedom.  Along with her husband Pete, the Farley's were a well-known and respected team in Irish and Irish-American circles.  Their video  accounts of the Republican movement in America and Ireland are  valuable resources for generations to come.  Ellen was also  responsible for distributing the Republican newspaper Saoirse in the  United States, and publicizing press releases from the Republican  movement in Ireland.
  John Curran was a noted politician and reformer in New Jersey who  firmly believed in the power of the Irish-American community to exercise it's will politically across party lines and bring about U.S.  condemnation of the British occupation of six counties.   He worked  tirelessly to bring about the conditions for this to occur, and  consistently pushed the need for dialogue with those outside the  Irish-American community.  He also labored extensively to educate his  colleagues in political office on Irish-American concerns regarding  U.S. foreign policy on Ireland.

Mike Delahunty came to the United States from Kerry as an emigrant  and quickly involved himself in politics.  College-educated and a fan of poetry, Mike devoted much time to involvement in Irish cultural  organizations.  In 1968, Mike rose through the ranks to become National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America.  The  focus and attention brought upon the plight of those in the occupied  six counties during his tenure resulted in over one million dollars being raised to alleviate their suffering.
 Fenian Heritage was also present with a fundraising table – books  featured were Condon's “Irish Race in America”, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh's  biography,  as well as a selection of work from Brian Mór Originals.

Contributed by: Dominick Bruno


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