26 September 2017
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 (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
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.
● 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.
● Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Hayes after laying a wreath
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An initiative for dialogue
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Contributions from key figures in the churches, academia and wider civic society as well as senior republican figures