20 June 2002 Edition

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Fógraí bháis

Oliver de Brún laid to rest at Tone's grave

The death occurred in February this year of lifelong republican Oliver de Brún. Oliver died in London and his remains were cremated there. He requested that half his ashes be returned to Ireland to be scattered at the grave of Wolfe Tone. The other half have already been scattered on the grave of a Palestinian fighter in Lebanon. On Sunday, his wishes were fulfilled.

Oliver was a native of County Galway. Like many of his generation, he emigrated to England as a young man in 1947. In London he soon became active in support of the republican struggle. Oliver worked in all the main Irish solidarity organisations since the 1950s - the Anti-Partition League, the Civil Rights Association, Sinn Féin Britain, the Wolfe Tone Society and the Saoirse campaign.

Oliver de Brún was a familiar figure at all republican demonstrations, pickets, protests and meetings in London for many years. He did Trojan work in support of the Irish republican prisoners and their families. He took up collections and sold An Phoblacht among the Irish community in Kilburn, where he was a well known and respected representative of our struggle.

Oliver was a regular visitor home for Sinn Féin Ard Fheiseanna, the Bloody Sunday commemoration and Bodenstown. Up to his last months when he was suffering from cancer, he kept his active interest in Ireland's cause.

The republican struggle was Oliver's life and he was totally dedicated to the cause of Irish freedom. It was entirely fitting that his remains should be laid to rest at Wolfe Tone's grave. The gathering last Sunday observed a minute's silence in his memory and in memory of all republicans who died in the past year. We extend sympathy to his family and friends.

I measc laochra na hÉireann go raibh a anam dílis.

Liam Fennell

It was with the deepest sadness that friends and comrades learned of the death of Liam Fennell, a well known and much respected republican from the Bone area of Belfast.

Liam died at his home in Glenview Street on 17 April last, surrounded by his family and close friends. He had suffered much from a long struggle with cancer. Liam, who was 57, was born in 1944, one of six children to Robbie and Tassie and spent his formative years in the happy environment of the Beechmount bungalows. The family moved to Monagh Road in Turf Lodge, where Liam, his brothers and friends had a great time roaming the Belfast hills and getting up to all the good-natured devilment that they could indulge in. Liam left school at 15 as early as he could and enjoyed earning his wages at any job that needed someone good with his hands.

He met and married Teresa, his wife of 35 years, whom he loved deeply. They suffered a tragedy early in their marriage when their first born son Stephen died from cot death at a few weeks old, but they continued on and their children Jacqueline, Liam and Claire are a credit to them. At the onset of the troubles in 1969, Liam became active in the IRA in the defence of the Bone. A quiet spoken, capable and determined man, Liam soon became well known far and wide.

He was wounded in a gun battle with the Brits in 1971, but after hospital treatment and recuperation he was back on active service. He was lifted and interned for a couple of years in 1972 and after being released in 1974 a few weeks later he was back in the Kesh, charged with an operation at the shipyard.

After the burning of Long Kesh in October 1974, Liam was out on parole as tragedy again struck the family. His brother, Volunteer Gerry Fennell, was shot and killed on active service in the street fighting that engulfed the North following the burning of the Kesh. Liam finished his time in the Kesh and returned to his family.

He went to work to provide them with what he thought they had missed out on, and was always happiest at home with his beloved Teresa, his children and grandchildren. He is greatly missed, a true and staunch friend and comrade, a loving husband, father and grandfather and always a true republican in the world of brave men who have gone before him.

Ar dheis láimh Dé go raibh a anam.


An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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