Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A Monumental Day

The Grand Parade to Derrycloney

On Sunday, I and hundreds of others, attended what can best be described as a monumental occasion in Mountmellick, the unveiling of the 1916-2016 centenary monument situated on the outskirts of this town at the Derrycloney cross roads. Historically, Mountmellick used to be considered as the Manchester of the Irish midlands. It was the industrial centre of Ireland, with a wide range of manufacturing processes being carried out in the town and serviced by both a canal and a railway. Sadly nothing of it’s industrial past remains apart from a ruined mill on it’s southern end. The canal was filled in to become a road, the railway station is now a private home complete with a platform and a signal board.

Civic pride in it’s past history still exists, the erection of the new monument is a witness to that and the part which it’s citizens played in freeing twenty-six of the thirty-two counties from under British rule. The momentum was generated by the actions of the fearless men and women of 1916 in Dublin. Those brave souls descended upon Dublin from all parts of Ireland and more than a few also came by boat from across the Irish Sea.

The monument project, part of the Laois 1916 centenary celebrations, was part-funded by Laois County Council through the Ireland 2016 funding. A small committee was formed in the town to raise further funds and they were assisted by many other organisations and individuals from the town, as well as people from other areas.

The central stone is a piece of South Kilkenny Blue Limestone weighing 1.45 tonne and has a crystalline structure. This is the type of stone that the ancient Irish used as standing stones and in stone circles, so this new monument links in very neatly with Ireland’s prehistory.


Cumann na mBan (Women's League) was formed in April 1913.
In 1913, a number of women decided to hold a meeting in Wynne's Hotel for the purpose of discussing the possibility of forming an organization for women who would work in conjunction with the recently formed Irish Volunteers. On April 4, 1914 Cumann na mBan was launched at a meeting held in the Pillar Room in the Mansion House. The first branch was named the Ard Chraobh, which held their meetings in Brunswick Street, before and after the 1916 Easter Rising.
In 1926 the Cumann Na mBan introduced the Easter Lily as symbol of remembrance for those who died during or were executed after the Easter Rising.
The Easter Lily

IUNVA Post 27 Portlaoise a site for all Veterans of the United Nations.  
The Irish United Nations Veterans Association(IUNVA) was formed at a meeting in Dublin on February 10th 1990, when an interim committee was formed.  The Association has the approval of the Minister of Defence, and is non-denominational, non-political and non-sectarian. Membership is available to any Irish resident who has successfully completed a tour of duty with a UN Force or Organisation, whether he or she is serving or retired. 


As veterans of U.N. operations world-wide IUNVA will continue to support our soldiers, Gardai and civilian personnel who serve in often dangerous and difficult circumstances. We hope that our country will also keep our traditions of service to peace in being.

We have contributed to over 50 years of peacekeeping with courage and tenacity. Our casualties have been many. Our dead are commemorated at Arbour Hill, and at other locations; but we must also remember the many who have been scarred, both physically and psychologically by their service overseas. We must continue to help these veterans and their families. That is why we were formed - let us not forget them.


Yours in peace,
________________________
Maj. Gen. (Retd.) V.F. Savino © with reference to http://iunvapost27.ie

We were very fortunate with weather and it was an occasion that will remain in the hearts and minds of all who attended. For myself, I would like to thank the Chair Mountmellick Monument Committee Brian Furlong for his kindness in reserving a chair for me in the marquee.





Noelle Geoghan representing Cumman na mBan


Badge of Cumman na mBan






Ruadhán MacEoin, the keynote speaker


Cathaoirleach Catherine Fitzgerald, Laois County Council


IUNVA Post 27 Portlaoise


Bill Lawlor MC of the event


Brian Furlong, chairman of the committee


Eugene Nolan played the whistle



The future generation looks on.









14 comments:

  1. How wonderful to have a front row seat of such a historic occasion, looks great xxx

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  2. Interesting day and event it must have been I'm sure. Good turnout too, and great photos. Warm greetings to you and happy new month!

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    1. Yes it was a great day and one I shall look back on with warmth in my heart.
      Thanks for the comment.

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  3. What a rich and reverent event. The picture of the little one is so meaningful. How do we teach our children to revere courage and honor life without examples and stories or the same? Great day for humanity when we raise the energy a bit with honoring the past.

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    1. Hello Toni, thank you for your meaningful and considered comment.

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  4. Interesting post & great to see the history being passed on to the younger generation, i know another little one that will enjoy your ability to re tell a story of fact & history :)

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    1. I might just know the name of that character too ;-)

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  5. A great occasion, Mel, and so good to see all generations represented, even the very youngest. It doesn't look as if the rain dulled anyone's spirits either judging by the smiles on the faces!

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    1. Hello Val! Last Sunday was a very satisfying day from beginning to end, for there was a great deal of harmony between us all. Thank you for your comment.

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  6. I always think it a tragedy that civil war broke out due to the minority not accepting the result of Collins' efforts and the ensuing vote. Collins was De Valera's scapegoat.

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    1. The real minority to my mind that divided the this island are those that were and are still supported by the British government. If the whole of this island had been united under the Tricolour it would have saved a lot of lives and we would all have been richer for that.

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  7. The face of "the future generation" makes me smile and gives me hope.

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    1. I very much agree with you Mitchell and thank you for your comment.

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