Republican News · Thursday 31 January 2002

[An Phoblacht]

Easter 2003

Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Mary Lou McDonald are pictured at the annual Easter commemoration to Éamonn Ceannt Park in Crumlin, Dublin, on Easter Saturday


Around 1,000 republicans took part in the annual Easter Commemoration in Armagh on Easter Monday afternoon. Following a short wreathlaying ceremony at the Hughes/McGerrigan memorial in Culdee, the parade, led by a 20-strong colour party, started off from Irish Street. Two visiting Scottish bands, the Sean McIlvenna Flute Band and the Joe Doherty Flute Band were in attendance and went down very well with the crowd. The parade made its way through the town centre to the Shambles and then to Railway Street over Banbrook Hill before heading out the Cathedral Road to the Republican Plot at St Patrick's Cemetery. Several hundred people gathered along the route the most of these being at the Shambles.

There was a commemoration ceremony at the Republican Plot, chaired by Stephen Fields of Armagh Sinn Féin. The crowd was first addressed by Cllr Paul Corrigan, who read out the Easter Proclamation. The main oration that was delivered by Sinn Féin councillor and Assembly candidate Pat O'Rawe.

Following the commemoration the parade returned along its original route to the Shambles where it dispersed after the playing of the National Anthem, Amhrán Na bhFiann.

Other commemoration in the Armagh area took place on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday morning. Several hundred republicans marched from Ferla Crossroads to the Republican Plot at Ballymacnab. Eamon Loughran chaired the commemoration and Pat O'Rawe delivered the main oration.

On Easter Monday morning, around 50 republicans gathered at the memorial that marks the spot where IRA Volunteer Sean McIlvenna was killed in action in 1984. Also in attendance was the Sean McIlvenna Flute Band, who travelled from Scotland to attend this and other commemorations in the Armagh area. This commemoration is a more personal affair, with many of Sean McIlvenna's friends and former comrades making a special point to attend. Christopher O'Donnell, who was a close friend of Sean McIlvenna, delivered the oration. Next year marks the 20th anniversary of Vol Sean McIlvenna's death and local republicans are planning to mark this occasion.


The annual wreath-laying ceremony in memory of Patrick and John Watters took place on Easter Sunday at 12 noon in Quay Street, Dundalk. The two brothers were executed by the Black and Tans on 17 June 1921. The ceremony was chaired by local Sinn Féin representative Ian Dooley.

A large crowd, led by a 20 strong republican Colour Party and accompanied by the Burns and Moley Flute Band from Crossmaglen, and the Martin Doherty Flute Band from Scotland, attended the main Dundalk Easter Commemoration. They marched from Marjet Square to the Republican Plot in St Patrick's Cemetery, Dowdallshill.

The ceremonies were chaired by Ian Dooley and the main speaker was Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South Central.

At a function that evening in Fairways Hotel, a presentation was made to veteran republicans Maureen O'Neill from Drogheda and Molly Moran from Dundalk.

Eoin O'Neill, Timoleague, Daithí Mac an Bhaird and John Desmond, Bandon are pictured at the Bandon Easter Commemoration at St Patrick's Cemetery. Eoin O'Neill is the father of Volunteer Dermot O'Neill who was shot in London in 1996.

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