By Dan Walsh in Gorey
The Liam Mellows Commemoration Committee in North Wexford began the official commemoration marking the centenary of his death and invited Jim O’Callaghan, T.D., to deliver the official address in the Ashdown Park Hotel, Gorey, tonight.
Deputy O’Callaghan said that at the time of his execution on December 8th, 1922, Liam Mellows had been a prisoner in Mountjoy Prison for five months, having been arrested and imprisoned as one of the leaders of the anti-treaty IRA Garrison in the Four Courts.
He was executed by firing squad alongside Rory O’Connor, Joseph McKelvey and Dick Barrett. Their executions by the Free State Government were in reprisal for the killing of Seán Hales T.D. by the IRA on December 7th, 1922. Even though none of them could have any involvement in Hales’ killing, the four were representatives of each of Ireland’s provinces.
“We know that Fianna Fáil was founded four years after Mellows’ death by people who shared his belief that imperialism had inflicted grave damage on the Irish people,” said Deputy O’Callaghan, who added; “They believed that the Irish people should be entitled to determine their own governance and their own future free from external influence and the societal hierarchy imposed by imperialism.”
Tomorrow (Sunday) the annual Liam Mellows Commemoration takes place at his grave in Castletown where the centenary oration will be delivered by former Taoiseach and key architect of the Good Friday Agreement, Bertie Ahern.
The current organising committee under the Chairmanship of former Fianna Fáil TD Lorcan Allen have a poignant and dignified event planned to mark this important historical event and all are welcome to attend.
The commemoration will commence with Mass ‘as Gaeilge’ at 11 am in St. Patrick’s Church, Castletown, followed by the commemoration ceremony at the graveside where Mr. Ahern will present the keynote address.