24 July 2008 Edition

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Fógraí bháis: Frank Kelly

Frank Kelly, as an IRA Volunteer, pictured in An Phoblacht/Republican News in 1979

Frank Kelly, as an IRA Volunteer, pictured in An Phoblacht/Republican News in 1979

THE DEATH occurred on 15 July of Frank Kelly. Well known within the republican family and within his own community of Millbrook Lawns in Tallaght, Dublin, Frank was an active Volunteer in Óglaigh na hÉireann during the 1970s and ‘80s. He continued to be a loyal supporter of the struggle for Irish freedom and the Sinn Féin peace strategy up until his death from cancer.
Frank died after a short illness and was buried on 19 July in Bohernabreena Cemetery where very large crowd gathered to show their respects.
The graveside oration was delivered by Sinn Féin South Dublin County Councillor Cathal King.
In the course of his oration, Cathal said that having grown up in Millbrook Lawns in the 1970s and ‘80s and as someone who was brought up with republican values and principles, “I was aware of Frank Kelly who was synonymous with the republican struggle in the area. As a result of this myself and others looked up to Frank with a mixture of respect and intrigue, wondering what kind of exploits he got up to on behalf of the Movement.
“At this point in our still divided nation’s history it may be easy, in times of relative peace, to forget the huge sacrifices people like Frank Kelly and their families made when times were harsh and the strong arm of the law, North and South, came down fiercely on those who were brave enough to stand up against the tyranny of the Brits and their 26 County counterparts.
“We must never forget those sacrifices”, he said.
Cathal recalled also Frank’s dear friends and comrades Noel Ryan and Seán O’Farrell who were similarly committed to the fight for Irish freedom.
“Having known of Frank in my childhood it gave me great pleasure to get to know Frank personally when I joined Sinn Féin. I always found him to be a gentleman and very unassuming. Always modest about the sacrifices he had made and always complimenting the work of others.”
The Sinn Féin Councillor said that in talking to Frank in recent times it was clear he was a very proud father and grandfather, continuously talking about Joyce, James, Ruth and Fran.
“In fact many a time during a political chat he would say with pride that it was his kids that were the real republicans and particularly Ruth and Joyce. He would say if you wanted to say something negative or mildly offensive about the freedom struggle to them, you would better start running before you finished your sentence or suffer the consequences.”      
“We gathered here today in a time of great sadness with the loss of Frank, a great Father, brother, comrade and friend. We gather in a shared grief but remember him with pride for his manner, his thoughtfulness, his friendliness, his humour, his bravery and his equal love for his family and country”, he said.  
Finally, Cathal offered sympathy and support to Frank’s family and thanked them for the opportunity to deliver the oration.
“Rest in Peace a chara”, he concluded.
Frank Kelly is survived by his daughters, Joyce and Ruth; sons James and Fran brother Jamsey and sister Carmel.
The Markievicz/Ryan/ O’Farrell Cumann, Sinn Féin in Tallaght offers it’s sympathies and support to the Kelly Family in this their time of grief.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1