Republican News · Thursday 25 March 1999

[An Phoblacht]

Dermot Brosnan

Oration given at funeral of the late Dermot Brosnan of Dromore, Farranfore Co. Kerry

``Dermot Brosnan was a long time member and friend of the Republican Movement.

He was one of the main architects of policy, strategy and thinking for this movement in the mid-Kerry area for decades. Coupled with Sean Hogan, Ned Dennehy, Mossie Connor, Paddy Joe and others. Dermot, with this group of dignified gentlemen fought a long and lonesome battle in times, when it was anything but fashionable to be a republican, in fact it is only in very recent times that things have changed''.

``Dermot witnessed profound changes in the evolution of the republican movement and it is a measure of his strength of character and intelligence that he was able to move with these changes right up to the time of his death. Dermot and this movement have written a chapter in our history books, which states that for the first time in eight hundred years, we have within our sights the possibility that we will see a united Ireland. It was dreamers like Dermot who helped to write many pages in this chapter. It is with dignity and respect that I can say that the content of these pages will never be known, that is the quiet way he would want it''.

``Cumann Cabrach is a body within this movement which is structured to raise finance to support the needs of the families of prisoners. Dermot was a particular friend of this group. Given the fact that at times we had up to 800 prisoners in different countries, it is easy to see that it was a major task to perform but with people like Dermot it was easy - he raised thousands of pounds, every penny accounted for, every penny went where it was supposed to go''.

``Dermot loved the land, he lived off it, he loved his wife and family, which he leaves very well cared for, he loved his country, which he leaves, draped in her flag, he loved the excitement generated by the Revolution, of which he was part, he would revel, if he could be around for the day that Revolution is no longer a dream, that day may not be far away.

To Mary and his family, I would like to thank them for their invitation to me to say these few words to day. I am proud and honoured to do so.''

Dermot Brosnan is survived by his wife Mary, daughters Delia and Geraldine, sons Tom, Martin and Derry, sisters brothers and grandchildren.

Mick Murray - a tribute

Born a Donnycarney man, Mick went to school in Scoil Mhuire, Marino.

He was the youngest boy to play in Croke Park for the school, at the age of nine he played for the under 14's.

Mick was very well known around the area of Marino as ``Squire Murray'', he got this name when he was left a bit of land down the country.

Mick had a pub in Kilbeggan which was a very popular spot for many of the Donnycarney people.

Mick had a great interest in all sports.

It is hard for anyone to encapsulate the life and times of Volunteer Mick Murray. A Dublin man, he was generous, gregarious, full of fun, he loved his family, his friends, above all he loved the life that he lived to the full. He joined the Republican Movement in the early 50's and spent his lifetime working towards the achievement of the unity and independence of the Irish people. A huge man in stature and presence he was jailed for his republican beliefs in th early 60's and 70's.

Captured in Birmingham in November 1974 he sat in complete silence throughout his trial refusing to plead or take part in the proceedings. Sentenced to twelve years imprisonment he was described by the trial judge as ``having all the demeanour of a soldier'' and commended him for his behavaiour and manner.

Irish felon, he served the majority of his sentence in solitary confinement and taking part in the blanket protest for political status. Excluded from England on his release he immediately resumed his place in the ranks of Oglaigh na hEireann.

He worked for a time as driver in An Phoblacht and became well known to republicans throughout the 26 counties. He pushed himself relentlessly as if he was trying to make up for the time he spent in jail.

His stroke while walking along the street in his native Dublin shocked everyone, it was as if he shrunk before our very eyes but behind his apparent frailty, Mick Murray the republican, the soldier, was still there stronger than ever.

It's hard to believe that for a number of years now, Mick had been in bad health. He never complained, he seemed to be always in good form, enjoyed the craic and his few pints. He involved himself in any activity that would help move the struggle on. That is the Mick we remember.

His life was spent in pursuing and working to achieve the Freedom and Independence of Ireland. He supported fully the leadership of this movement. He wanted to see Ireland united in his lifetime.

His attitude on the thorny issue of decommissioning was `give them not an ounce'. He had seen the movement going down that road in the 60's and leaving nationalists defenceless during the loyalist pogroms of 68' and 69'.

He stood with ordinary people of Ireland against the self servers, the establishment politicians who have tried to bleed this country dry. He opposed the partition of our country and fought his whole life to end division.

Mick died in Tipperary the home of the flying column, the home of soldiers like Seán Treacy and Dan Gleeson. He was attending the welcome home of Ella O Dwyer a recently released prisoner when he had a massive heart attack. It was a great night, Mick was in good form, he enjoyed the craic. He died surrounded by friends and comrades who will never forget him.

Mick's work continues, there is room for everyone in that work. Let us leave here today confident in our ability to achieve the vision of Mick Murray, a vision of an Ireland at peace, united, free and independent.

Mick Murray - Oglach - Ar dheis dé ar anam.

Contents Page for this Issue
Reply to: Republican News