Commemoration Ceremony at Grange, Co . Limerick on Sunday last
Despite the very treacherous road conditions around Grange, Co. Limerick a large group of people made their way to the the Church in Grange last Sunday morning. A Mass of Commemoration was celebrated to commemorate the memory of those who were killed at Caherguillamore on Sunday 27th December 1920.
After Mass a ceremony was held at the Republican plot in the adjoining graveyard. Many County Councillors joined invited guests as wreath was laid. Fr. Joseph Foley C.C Bruff, recited a decade of the Rosary. The Last Post sounded and the National Anthem was sung as the National Flag was raised.
The wreath was laid and the oration delivered by Patrick O’Donovan T.D. In a thoughtful and inspiring oration the T.D spoke about the events at Caherguillamore and placed them in the context of our present state of affairs.
He pointed out that we are approaching a time when many significant centenary celebrations or memorials will take place. These include the birth of the Irish Labour movement in Clonmel , the outbreak of the First World War, the 1916 Rising, the end of the Great War in 1918, The War of Independence 1920. The most significant centenary will be in 2016
T.D. . O’Donovan said “ ... we need to ask ourselves as we approach Easter 1916, what kind of Ireland do we want for future generations, and do we ensure that the legacy of Caherguillamore is properly lived out . I firmly believe that an essential part of that legacy building must be the pursuit by political leaders , of common goals on behalf of the Irish people.”
“Just like Robert Frost in the poem, “The Road not Taken,” Ireland is now at a junction. We have been presented with a choice, to take a road of looking backwards, of seeking recriminations. Of apportioning blame or we can take a road of looking forward , of building hope, of confronting problems of working together. The second road while it sounds the most positive, is the most difficult, especially for political leaderss, and is like Robert Frost said, the road less travelled. Now more than ever Ireland’s political leaders need to be brave, and to show the same courageas those at Caherguillamore. And while the modern challenge is not one of armed struggle, it is still one of adversity, of conquering economic problems rather than roblemsof occupation, and in doing so winning again our national sovereignity, our ability to make our own decisions and the right of the people again to self-determination”
On the recent visit of the Queen of England, he said “ I am certain that those that gathered (in Caherguillamore) on that faithful night to raise funds for the pursuit of freedom, would never have imagined that the grandaughter of the then King George V would, two short generations later, would vist the Garden of Rememberance in Dublin and bow her head as a mark of respect to thos who lost their lives fighting for Ireland”
Mr. O’Donovan finished by thanking those reponsible for organising such ceremonies saying that woithout the commitment of local volunteers other generations would lose a vitally important part of our heritage which is such a critical part of our identity.