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26 September 2017

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Thomas Ashe centenary marked in Clonakilty, County Cork

The Easter Commemoration Committee and Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee jointly organised a parade from Ashe Street to Asna Square for a commemoration ceremony

THE CENTENARY of the death of Thomas Ashe, who died as a result of force-feeding five days into a hunger strike in Mountjoy Jail in 1917, was remembered in Clonakilty, County Cork, on Monday evening.

The Easter Commemoration Committee and Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee jointly organised a parade from Ashe Street to Asna Square for a commemoration ceremony.

In Asna Square, Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Hayes chaired proceedings.

Ashe Street resident Pat Flynn laid a wreath and this was followed by a lament on the pipes.

Fionnuala Ní Chonchubhair, a native of Lispool, west Kerry, where Thomas Ashe hailed from, read the patriot’s famous poem Let Me Carry Your Cross for Ireland, Lord.

Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin recalled the life of Thomas Ashe from his native Kerry to school principal in Lusk, to Irish Volunteer and leader during the 1916 Rising, and to his imprisonment in the summer of 1917 which led him to go on hunger strike, when he died after five days as a result of force-feeding.

Thirty thousand people attended Ashe’s funeral in Glasnevin at which Clonakilty’s Michael Collins delivered the graveside oration.

Thomas Ashe funeral volley, 1917

At Monday night’s event, Michael O’Donovan read the names, dates of death and number of days on hunger strike of the other 21 Irish republicans who have died while on hunger strike up to 1981.

The ceremony concluded with Amhrán na bhFiann played by the piper.

2017 Thomas Ashe, Clonakilty

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