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26 September 2017

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Óglach Diarmuid O’Neill Commemoration, County Cork

Diarmuid and his IRA comrades had been under surveillance for some time and could have been arrested

Photos by Ken O’Connell

THE annual Óglach Diarmuid O’Neill Commemoration took place at Timoleague Cemetery, County Cork, last Sunday.

Diarmuid O'Neill

Diarmuid O’Neill (pictured) was shot dead by an armed Metropolitan Police squad on 23 September 1996 in a raid on his home in Hammersmith. He was 27.

He and his IRA comrades had been under surveillance for some time and could have been arrested before police gunmen stormed his flat with tear gas before shooting Diarmuid dead as he opened the door.

Diarmuid was unarmed. Neither he nor those with him offered any resistance to the police.

He was one of the last IRA Volunteers to die on active service during the most recent phase of the conflict.

Diarmuid O'Neill

Diarmuid O’Neill 

In County Cork last Sunday, piper Michael Heaney and three flag bearers led a large crowd from the roadside into the graveyard, where Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin chaired proceedings.

Cionnaith remembered the late Jim McDonald (London and Clare) and local man Charlie Madden who were both faithful attendees of the event who had passed away during the year.

He extended a welcome to Eoin and Shane O’Neill, Diarmuid’s father and brother, and the many elected reps present.

2017 Diarmuid O'Neill – Sinn Féin TD Pat Buckley and Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin

● Sinn Féin TD Pat Buckley and Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, who chaired the ceremony

Wreaths were laid on behalf of Gluaiseacht na Phoblachta Corcaigh; Donnchadha de Barra Sinn Féin Cumann, Kinsale; the Diarmuid O’Neill Sinn Féin Cumann, Castletownkenneigh; and by Councillor Paul Hayes on behalf of the Clonakilty Sinn Féin Cumann.

The piper played a lament and Pat Buckley, Sinn Féin TD for East Cork, delivered an oration.

The ceremony concluded with the piper playing Amhrán na bhFiann.

2017 Diarmuid O'Neill – Paul Hayes

Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Hayes after laying a wreath

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