11 July 2002 Edition

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Honour the memory of the Clashmealcon Martyrs

On Sunday 7 July, the 79th anniversary of the siege at Clashmealcon Caves in the North Kerry parish of Causeway, a large crowd travelled to that spot on the Shannon Estuary to pay tribute to the six brave men who fell in defence of the Republic on 16 April 1923.

In atrocious weather conditions, the crowd, led by the Ballyseedy Martyrs Band, marched to the monument erected to the memory of Timothy 'Aero' Lyons, Jim McEnery, Edward Greaney, Patrick O'Shea, Rudge Hathaway and Tommy McGrath who, along with Tommy's brother Jimmy, were trapped in a cave for three days and nights by Free State troops. The event was chaired by Thomas Harrington of Causeway Sinn Féin. A plaque was unveiled by Mrs. Deenihan, a niece of Patrick O'Shea. Wreaths were laid by Sonny Foran, Paddy Campbell and Paddy Fitzmaurice and a decade of the rosary was recited by Caoireall McEnri, a descendant of Jim McEnery.

The oration was delivered by Deputy Martin Ferris who paid tribute to the selfless determination of the Clashmealcon Martyrs. Despite being cold, hungry and heavily outnumbered, they survived for three days and nights in that dark cave. Eventually, McGrath and O'Shea were drowned and, following the surrender, Lyons fell to his death when the Free State rope winching him up the cliff was severed. Hathaway, McEnery and Greaney were executed at Tralee Free State Barracks.

Ferris called on all present to work diligently and relentlessly to ensure that the Ireland of the future will be one of unity, equality and democracy for all of our people.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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