The recent passing of George Gilhooley in Springfield, Boston, has left a void in the USA and Ireland. George died at his home in Springfield on 23 July.
He was a quiet sort of a man with strong republican ideals who deeply loved his country and its people. He took great pleasure from his trips to Ireland to attend the marches and support the prisoners and to meet them and their families. George had a deep affection for the prisoners and they were forever on his mind. On his many visits to Ireland, trips to the gaols were always a priority for him and despite his distance from Ireland he kept in close contact with all the prisoners and their families that he befriended.
He was very supportive and full of praise for the sterling work done by the republican movement in their efforts within the peace process. A very generous individual who worked hard for other people.
A life long member of the John Boyle O'Reilly club in Springfield, Boston, George was always to the fore at republican protests, functions and commemorations. A talented musician, George was never shy of the opportunity to display his musical skills by entertaining everyone with many classic Irish ballads. He was very fond of the song `Wrap the Green Flag Round Me' and that was duly done. The huge turnout at his funeral to pay respect to George was a fitting tribute, with honour guards from several Irish organisations in attendance.
Universally liked, especially among the prisoners and their families, George will be sorely missed by all and his contribution to the struggle for Irish freedom is unquestionable. Deepest sympathy is extended to Alice and the entire Gilhooley family and all his close friends in Springfield, USA.
The death recently of stalwart republican and octogenarian, the late Frank McCaughey, has left a void in the lives of the people of his adopted Clones and in the lives of republicans throughout Monaghan and the border counties. Our loss, of course, pales to that of his grieving family.
Frank was both an ``old-school'' gentleman and character. His innate decency and the respect that he deservedly enjoyed from all who came to know him, helped place his politics in high regard and won support that saw his return, election after election, for a quarter century of service on Clones Urban District Council. Frank believed in service to his community. He retired from electoral politics, undefeated, in 1985.
There are many stories told and to be told, about this `dealin' man and shop-keeper. Frank was always `craic' in any company but was never happier than in the company of kindred souls who shared his dream for Ireland and her people. A passionate republican, he was tolerant of difference and never bitter, though he suffered many of the indignities and injustices that this state employed against our number.
Though in his middle eighties, the news of his sudden death at a family wedding came as a great shock to all his friends and comrades.
Predeceased by his wife Ellen in 1982, Frank is survived by his seven sons and two daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchild, brothers and sisters.
On behalf of his legion of friends in the ranks of Sinn Féin and the wider Republican family, I extend sincerest sympathy to all his family and close inner circle of friends in Clones and beyond.
I measc Laochra Na nGael go raibh a anam dílis.
CAOIMHGHÍN Ó CAOLÁIN, TD