Ballyhaunis celebrates opening of Garden of Remembrance

Posted in Connect on November 29, 2016.

THE great grand-daughter of 1916 Proclamation signatory, Katherine Connolly Kilbride, who lives in Ballyhaunis, presided at the raising of the Irish flag, along with Joe Keane, one of the most senior residents of Ballyhaunis and veteran of the FCA. The occasion marked the official opening of a Garden of Remembrance to honour the memory of the people and events of Easter 1916.

Fr Stephen Farragher, PP, performed the blessing ceremony at Bridge Street and children from Scoil Íosa read aloud the 1916 Proclamation. A rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann was played by local musicians Richard Waldron, Connie Gildea and Paddy Joe Tighe.

Fr Kieran Waldron, a Ballyhaunis native, noted historian and author, delivered a presentation on Ballyhaunis in 1916. Katherine Connolly Kilbride planted a yew tree in honour of the seven signatories of the Proclamation. Students from Ballyhaunis Community School read out their interpretation of what a 2016 Proclamation would contain.

The chairman of Mayo County Council, Cllr Al McDonnell, presented a copy of the 1916 Proclamation in Urdu to Mr and Mrs Rafique as representatives of the Urdu community.
Kay Curley, on behalf of the organisers, Ballyhaunis Tidy Towns, thanked all who lent support to the Garden of Remembrance project and had helped out in bringing this project to fruition.

Among them were Mayo County Council engineer, Tom Feerick, local representatives John Cribbin and John Caulfield, Ulster Bank Ltd, Peter Cunnane, Martin and Martina Gavin, Margie Phillips, Tommy Grogan, Delaney’s Garden Centre, Evan O’Dwyer, Michael Dillon, the Rural Social Scheme team, Paddy Grogan, Bernie Ruane, John Joe Lyons and Gabriel Morley, as well as private individuals who contributed to the cost of the project. 

Kay had special thanks for Pete Feeney and Noel Frayne for their wonderful work in building the Garden. She also had words of thanks for Fr Stephen Farragher, Joe Keane, Katherine Connolly Kilbride, Fr Kieran Waldron, the musicians, the children of Scoil Íosa and their principal Kenneth Dennedy and vice-principal Kevin Henry, and the students of Ballyhaunis Community School and their teacher Paul Ryan for their contribution to the opening ceremony.

Story Sourced: The Mayo News

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