Gardaí police set upon republicans in County Monaghan this week as a commemoration was taking place in honour of Fergal O’Hanlon.
Aged 20, Vol. O’Hanlon was killed alongside comrade Seán South while taking part in an attack on a Crown Force base in Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, during the IRA’s Border Campaign of 1957. Their selfless actions helped to inspire a generation to continue the IRA’s armed struggle.
Because of the high levels of Covid infection, Republican Sinn Fein cut back their annual event to a small dignified march from Monaghan Cathedral, led by a small colour party and piper. Other republicans from the 1916 Societies joined along in the march.
But RSF said the event “witnessed once again the bullyboy tactics of the Gardaí”.
“As the march had turned up the road from the junction towards Latlurcan cemetery, members of the Special detective unit backed up by the Garda armed support unit and local Garda stormed in on the marchers, dragging a young man from South Armagh across the road. Young children and mothers were left terrified by what was unfolding.”
After he gave his name in Irish, the Gardaí wrongly accused the young man of giving a false name and then violently assaulted him.
“It took a total of nine Garda to subdue the young man and physically force him into the back of a garda car before being taken to Monaghan garda station to be questioned an then subsequently released,” RSF said.
Despite the shocking scenes, the commemoration went ahead.
A wreath was laid on the grave of Vol. O’Hanlon, and also on that of former RSF member, Vol. Sean Moore, by Fermanagh republican John Joe McCusker.
Separately, Saoradh’s annual Sean South commemoration took place without incident in Limerick city.