A truly dedicated Irish republican
A first anniversary commemoration for IRA Volunteer Mick Murray took place in Kilallon on the Meath/Westmeath border on Sunday, 12 March. A crowd of over 200, including Mick's family and friends, republicans from Meath, Dublin and further afield and local people paraded to the small graveyard to pay their respects to a highly respected republican activist and former political prisoner and to unveil a new headstone to his memory. The parade was led by a nine-strong republican colour party and the Volunteers Smith/Harford/Doherty republican flute band from Dublin.
The graveside ceremonies were chaired by Sinn Féin Meath County Councillor Joe Reilly and the main oration was delivered by Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Larry O'Toole, who described Mick as a ``truly dedicated Irish republican''.
O'Toole recalled the words of a British trial judge at the time of Mick's sentencing, when he he said: ``I have never met a man of such soldierly demeanour'', referring to Mick Murray's silent, dignified and proud manner throughout his trial.
Larry described the great standing and respect in which Mick was held by the republican family and by his friends and school pals from Donnycarney on the northside of Dublin. He said it was fitting that last year, Mick spent his final hours celebrating with fellow republicans in Tipperary the release of Ella O'Dwyer, another political prisoner who was incarcerated in British jails.
Larry O'Toole told the assembled crowd that at a crucial time in the peace process, the British government had ``caved in to unionist tantrums, stalling and bully-boy tactics.
He concluded by saying that Mick Murray was dedicated to an Ireland free of British interference and suppression.
``An Ireland of equal opprtunity for everyone, not just for the rip off merchants with Ansbacher bank accounts.
``An Ireland rid of sectarian RUC thuggery and collusion.
``An Ireland where Peter Mandelson and his like can come here as tourists, not as British direct rulers.
``An Ireland that will give proper recognition to brave freedom fighters such as Mick Murray.''