By Dan Walsh at Craanford
There was a large gathering in Craanford village this morning for the special unveiling of a memorial dedicated to the Craanford Volunteers and Cuman na mBan with inscriptions bearing the names of sixty-six people associated with the War of Independence.
Sarah Dreelan, daughter of John Reddy and Paddy Mordaunt, son of Michael Mordaunt and nephew of Mary Ann Mordaunt jointly unveiled the monuments followed by a blessing by Fr Brian Whelan.
On behalf of the Whelan family, Martin’s daughter Catherine and her son Ciarán laid a wreath in memory of Dan Whelan, their grandfather and great grandfather, Dan’s brothers Michael and Pat “corporal” Whelan, Catherine’s grand uncles.
Catherine’s husband Timmy and their daughters, Emily and Orla laid a wreath in memory of Mary Doran, their grandmother and great grandmother and Mary’s brother, Peter, Tommy’s grand uncle.
Piper Michael Roche played a lament in memory of those family members and friends remembered today.
On behalf of the Whelan family, Martins daughter Catherine and her son Ciarán will lay a wreath in memory of Dan Whelan, their grandfather and great grandfather, Dan’s brothers Michael and Pat “corporal” Whelan, Catherine’s grand uncles.
Catherine’s husband Timmy and their daughters, Emily and Orla will lay a wreath in memory of Mary Doran, their grandmother and great grandmother and Mary’s brother, Peter, Tommy’s grand uncle.
The project was the brainchild of Martin ‘Pops’ Whelan who was delighted but kept a low public profile and master of ceremonies Geraldine Murphy commended him and his efforts were greeted with loud applause.
“There are talkers and there are doers in the world, and Martin is definitely ‘a doer’. When he gets a notion, and some might say ‘a mad notion’ into his head, he just ploughs on and sees his projects through to the end. Nothing ever gets in his way, and that is what we call being passionate about things, Said Ms Murphy, who added; “In this case, this is history, history that is in individual minds, which could be lost in time, but it took one person, the where with all, to gather this information, spending hours and hours, I cannot stress the amount of time this project took, but when you sit down today or tomorrow and look through this booklet, you will be amazed at the amount of detail included in it, and realise a lot of clicking and searching on a laptop has taken place to ensure all these details are correct.”
“And as you pass by these monuments, you will be remembering your family, your friends, and your neighbours, which is what this project is all about, as a community, remembering those who were involved in Craanford Volunteers and Cumman na mBan and for that Martin, we all say a big thank you”, concluded Ms. Murphy.
At the start of proceedings, Barry Lacey, Historian-in-Residence with Wexford County Council for the Decade of Centenaries, gave the large attendance a brief overview of events around the time of the War of Independence.
Pádraig Kenny, grandson of Paddy Kenny offered a fine rendition of ‘Shall My Soul Pass Through Old Ireland”.
The attendance included Senator Malcolm Byrne and Cllr Fionntán Ó Súillebháin. Enniscorthy Historical Re-Enactment Society and the members of the Irish United Nations Veterans Association (IUNVA), Post 3 (Gorey) formed a guard of honour.
The Last Post played on trumpet by Anthony Nolan followed by the raising of the flag to full mast, followed by the Reveille and the National Anthem brought proceedings to a conclusion.