Tralee piper, Denis O’Reilly led a 40 strong parade, including a colour party through Castleisland on Friday evening and on to Castle View. There, at the War of Independence monument, wreaths were laid and thoughts lingered on the three men who died nearby on the evening of July 10-1921.
The ultimate sacrifices made by Jack Flynn, Jack Prendiville and Richard Shanahan on that Sunday evening were marked by the event – which was organized by the locally based Sinn Féin Bonn / Doherty Cumann. The events of the evening were accompanied by a menacing sky and prolonged rain.
People travelled from throughout the county for the occasion and places like: Causeway, Ballyduff and Asdee were as well represented as were the areas closer to the town.
Cumann member, Tadhg Dennehy and Shanahan family representatives, Kate Shanahan and her daughter, Bláithín placed wreaths at the monument.
Nancy Foran read the roll of honour of those who died locally in the War of Independence and in the subsequent Civil War.
Guest speaker Cllr. Pa Daly, Sinn Féin told the gathering he was honoured to be invited to be part of the occasion.
He expressed a view that many in official Ireland, in government parties and in Kerry County Council, prefer watered down, inclusive, stripped of value and meaningless commemorations.
“Can we not commemorate Thomas Ashe without also remembering those who force fed him? Rubbish,” said Cllr. Daly.
“Nationalism is criticised but there is nothing wrong with pride in your country. Nothing wrong with remembering our dead. A positive patriotism can involve looking after our emigrants abroad, supporting Irish produce and Irish owned businesses,” he said.
“We are encouraged to be good Europeans but look where that got us with banks being bailed out contrary to the common good.
The history of Jack Flynn, Jack Prendiville and Richard Shanahan – post 1916 and the death of Thomas Ashe, and the first Dáil, the local volunteers reclaiming the area with raids on Gortatlea, Scartaglin, Brosna and Clonbanin.
“Their involvement in land agitation, inspired by ideals of equality and Liberty. Their struggle then is ours now . . .
What would they think of the two tier health system today. A wait of four months became four days when doctors learnt a woman had private healthcare . . .
Tax cuts for the rich thanks to ordinary people being hit with extras like: Universal Social Charge / Pension Levy / Property Tax and water charges.
A two tiered education system where elite schools are subsidized by the lower paid. Greater and greater inequality. We don’t request the ideals of the three men we honour here this evening – We Demand Them,” Cllr Daly concluded.
Cordal poet, Jimmy Cullinane then recited a poem about the events of that night. It is attributed to Patrick O’Keeffe and Florrie O’Donoghue and dated March 1923. I’ll bring you that later on after consulting with Jimmy as it seems to have been mangled by various interpretations down through the years.
A reminder for anyone interested: You can read Den Prendiville’s participant’s account of the events of that fateful night in 1921 by clicking on the link here. www.bureauofmilitaryhistory.ie/reels/bmh/BMH.WS1106.pdf