9 June 2005 Edition
Léirmheas Iris — Magazine Review
Loch Garman 100 — Celebrating 100 years of
Sinn Féin in County Wexford
Loch Garman 100 — Celebrating 100 years of Sinn Féin in County Wexford, was launched by Martin McGuinness at a centenary dinner dance which took place in Wexford's Riverbank Hotel on Friday evening last.
In the foreword to the 40-page booklet, the author, Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, sets out the purpose as to not only celebrate 100 years of Sinn Féin in Wexford but also to serve as "an educational tool for new members who join the party in the Southeast" in the period ahead. Put together in glossy magazine style with many short articles, it is an easy read that's handy to pick up for a quick browse. It doesn't intend to give an indepth analysis or background to events but rather to provide a brief introduction to some of the main republican characters and events of the past century in Wexford and to this end it features biographies as well as a huge variety of photographs.
Among the characters featured are the internationally acclaimed writer, Diarmaid Ó Súilleabháin, who died in 1985 and who did much to publicise the republican message and was the first person convicted in the Special Court.
Also included is a brief biography of veteran republican Máire Comerford, who, while coming from a wealthy Anglo-Irish background, was an active republican all her life from the time of the 1916 Rising right up to her death in 1982. It includes a photograph of Former Sinn Féin Director of Publicity, Danny Morrison, speaking at her graveside near Gorey.
Liam Mellows and the Edentubber Martyrs feature prominently, along with interviews with some of the participants from the Vinegar Hill Column, who took part in the Border Campaign. Another section focuses on 1916 in the Enniscorthy area where the rebels, under the leadership of figures such as Séamas Rafter and Robert Brennan, were the last group in the country to surrender during the Rising.
A character whose memory the author feels has been neglected has been rehabilitated. Peter Daly, from near Ferns, was the Training Officer of the IRA's Wexford Brigade and was one of the first to volunteer for the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, where he died in 1937.
The final section of the booklet focuses on candidates from the 1918 election onwards and also has interesting photos of some of the elected reps in the county from the 1970s through to the 1990s.
Included is a piece on the oldest candidate to run for Sinn Féin, Oliver Murray, who contested the 1992 General Election at the age of 81. There is also an attempt to list some of the membership from some of the local areas during this period.
Overall, this is a commendable effort to document local republican history in this, Sinn Féin's centenary year.
The magazine is available from Fionntáin at 087-6013877 or online from www.sinnfeinbookshop.com