24 July 2008 Edition

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'Ireland still needs heroes'

Matt Carthy

Matt Carthy

Dublin IRA Volunteer Patrick Cannon was remembered last Saturday as republicans from the city and beyond paraded to his graveside at Balgriffin Cemetery to remember his sacrifice, together with his comrade Peter McElchar of Donegal.
Members of Patrick’s family were present for the ceremony, including his sister Margaret who laid a wreath. The ceremony was chaired by Christy Behan of the Patrick Cannon Cumann, Sinn Féin (Donaghmede), while Cain O’Brien of the Cole/Colley Cumann, (Coolock) read the Dublin Brigade Roll of Honour. Patrick’s friend and comrade Noel Harrington, vice-chair of the Charlie Hurley Cumann, Bandon, County Cork also laid a wreath.
The speaker was Sinn Féin Mayor of County Monaghan, Councillor Matt Carthy. During his speech he said:
“Ireland has always required heroes and Ireland has never been left wanting. Some of these heroes have also been martyrs, killed in action in the service of their country, murdered, assassinated or robbed of life as result of armed conflict. One such hero was Patrick Cannon.  A 20-year-old fitter welder from Dublin, Patrick was killed while on active service with the IRA alongside Volunteer Peter McElchar near the Donegal/Tyrone border on 17 July 1976.
“Struggle by its very nature requires us to be risk takers. There are no comfort zones in struggle. And that is how things will continue into the future. And we know only too well that republicanism demands immense personal sacrifices.  That is the case for Sinn Féin activists today as it has been for IRA Volunteers.
“Ireland still needs heroes.
“Thanks to the efforts of the IRA we can now hope with confidence that we no longer need martyrs. We have too many already. But heroes we certainly need.  Today’s heroes are those who will do what is necessary today. They will become politically active and they will ensure that those, from whatever quarter who wish to undermine our party, movement and struggle will fail.
“Look at Irish history, look at international freedom struggles and look to our own hearts and minds and it is clear that we are on the right course. Let us be the heroes that make it happen and let us give Volunteer Patrick Cannon and his comrades the commemoration they deserve.”

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