Republican News · Thursday 07 December 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Charlie Kerins Commemoration.

The annual Volunteer Charlie Kerins Commemoration took place Friday evening, 1 December, at a windy and rainswept Tralee. A crowd of approximately 60 braved the conditions and marched from the 1798 Croppy Box Memorial on Denny Street to the Charlie Kerins Memorial on Strand Road. The march was led by the Ballyseedy martyrs Republican Band. The event was chaired by Kerry Comhairle Cheantair chair Eddie Riordan.

Arrested by Free State forces in Rathmines, Dublin, in October 1944, Kerins was hanged by an imported English hangman on 1 December 1944.

Speaking, one of Sinn Féin's two members of Tralee UDC, Cathal Foley, spoke of the brutal state execution of Charlie Kerins, like that of his comrade Maurice O'Neill, and the attempts by the Free State government to eradicate the ideals and crush the struggle which these men prosecuted.

``As we approach the 20th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike, we remember how Thatcher tried to use prisoners as hostages,'' he said. ``Like Charlie Kerins, they were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice. Events like this have not broken republicanism but have strengthened it and this strength is due to the commitment of republicans like Bobby Sands, Mairead Farrell and Charlie Kerins.

``Charlie Kerins, in his last letter, said that he did not mind what happened to him as long as the ideals for which he was dying were held sacred by his comrades. I believe that these ideals are still sacred and always will be as long as the isand of Ireland is divided. We salute you Charlie Kerins; your dream is still alive in Kerry.''

A function by the North Kerry Republicans Soldiers' Memorial committee to raise funds for North Kerry Republican Monuments was held later at The White Sands, Ballyheigue. Music was by Cork band Black Rose, and the event was a fantastic success.

Patrick Lynch Commemoration

The Lieutenant Packie Lynch Commemoration will take place at the Community Centre, An Gleann (The Glen), Baile an Sceilig (Ballinskelligs), Co. Kerry on Sunday, 10 December, commencing at 2.30pm. The main speaker will be Sinn Féin party manager in the county, Risteárd Ó Fuaráin.

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