THE deaths of prominent Republicans Jim Murphy and Patrick McManus have been remembered during commemorative events in Derrylin and Swanlinbar, organised by the 1916 Sean MacDiarmada society.
On Easter Sunday, a piper played at the graveside of Mr. Murphy in Derrylin, with Independent Councillor Bernice Swift chairing the proceedings, on the 40th anniversary of his death.
During the commemoration, wreaths were laid by the Murphy family, his former comrades, victims’ group Firinne and the Sean MacDiarmada and Matt Fitzpatrick Societies.
And members of the McManus, Martin, Maguire and Reihill families placed an Easter Lily on the graves of their loved ones, too. Colm Lynagh, the brother of IRA leader Jim Lynagh who was killed in Loughgall in May 1987, was the guest speaker and used his address to pay tribute to the the Murphy family and all those gather each year to remember his death.
He told the crowd: “In 1916 the provisional Government declared an Irish Republic from the steps of the GPO in Dublin and it was this great insurrection and strike for freedom against the British empire that inspired men like Jim Murphy and countless others in every generation since 1916 to continue the fight for independence and sovereignty.
“Sadly freedom is as far away today as it ever was and it is why we as proud Irish Republicans are gathered here today at the grave of Jim Murphy to remember him and all those who died for Irish freedom and to rededicate ourselves to continuing the struggle.” Mr. Lynagh added: “Today there are those who would tell us partition is to be accepted and we must make the best of it, that British rule isn’t that bad, and the plight of the working class cannot be avoided. These are the people who would don the convict uniform of tails to toast the Commander and Chief of the British Army the Queen of England and bend the knee in submission to a foreign and illegal power.” “These people have no interest in the freedom of Ireland or the rights of the ordinary people, but I say here today, that they have not the right and never will have the right to surrender you or your children’s right to be free,” he said.
On Easter Monday, members of the 1916 Societies then remembered Patrick McManus as wreaths were laid at his grave by his sister Mary Kate McManus, former comrades, and the Sean MacDiarmada and Matt Fitzpatrick societies, Just like last year, Peadar Neary from Ballyconnell gave the main oration, telling the crowd that the aims and objectives of 1916 had “still to be achieved”.
“Ireland is still partitioned and called on all those present to stay true to the cause of Irish freedom. Irish men like volunteer Patrick McManus and countless others had died trying to remove an occupying force from our country and we cannot and will not settle for anything less than a 32 county united Ireland.
“Irish Republicans must remain true to the 1916 proclamation and what it stood for, we will not be fooled by those who wine and dine with the British Queen. Concluding with a quotation from 1916 Leader and signature of the proclamation Sean MacDiarmada: ‘damn your concessions England we want our country’”.