By Dan Walsh
The Murrintown commemoration and opening of the Garden of Remembrance and Reflection to mark the Truce of the War of Independence a century ago ceremony was held today in poor weather conditions where Cllr Lisa McDonald delivered the oration.
Cllr McDonald said; “We are here in Murrintown today to take ownership of remembrance and hoping for reflection. The images this week in our national media of the crowds that gathered back then at the Mansion House hoping and praying for peace to prevail were palpable. That was a good day in 1921 but the months that followed that brought the Anglo-Irish Treaty, partition, the creation of Northern Ireland and the saddest part of our history, The Civil War, the war of friends which we find so hard to discuss still today.
“We’re here today celebrating the lives and the memory of the patriots who sacrificed their own lives, so that we the descendants could be independent and practice democracy and the right to self-determination. It is a fragile concept and we see it being undermined worldwide today but we must ensure that the structures that underpin modern democracy are maintained and defended. “We need to make a special effort to recognise the role that every single person plays in our country, from our elderly to our artists, our public servants, our business people, our farmers to our fishermen and our professionals. To our children with special needs, and to those with disabilities, our unemployed and our homeless, everyone.
“Everyone deserves respect and the ideals of 1916 demand us to practice just that. The best way to honour this concept is to return to belief in the possible, what we can do and what we hope to achieve. We have spent the last eighteen months battling this horrific pandemic together. We have seen the self-sacrifice of our health care workers, we have seen what we can do when we work together and we have seen the futility of division.”
In conclusion, Cllr McDonald added; “A lot has changed since mid-day on the 11th of July 1921 but one thing remains constant, we continue to strive for the ideals of the Proclamation set down in 1916, which sought to cherish all the children of Ireland equally. This work will be ongoing and will demand that our leaders step up to the plate and solve the problems that confront each generation. Our work may never be done but we must look back and remind ourselves of the sacrifice made for us and we must never give up hope.”
The Commemoration opened with a short speech from Cllr Jim Moore, Cathaoirleach of Rosslare Municipal District Council, followed by prayers recited by Very Rev. Aodhán Marken, Parish Priest of Piercestown and Murrintown. Liam Collins was Master of Ceremonies.
The national flag was raised by Lieutenant Kirsty Moran and the national anthem sung by Murrintown teenager Eabha Keane. Trumpeter Anthony Nolan sounded the Last Post and Revielle.