24 May 2022

Freshford remembers the past on Easter Sunday


Cllr Michael McCarthy with Mrs Mary Bergin, Blackwood, Freshford, as she raises the tricolour and the flying Column from Kilkenny

A good crowd turned out for the annual commemoration on the Green in Freshford on Easter Sunday.

MC John Maher started proceedings: “We gather this morning to commemorate a momentous occasion in the history of our country, we remember those who fought so valiantly and died so that we could be free."

He welcomed the Kilkenny Flying Column who marched in as proceedings began. Next was the reading of the Proclamation by the excellent Eleanor Cantwell. Accompanying Eleanor was Tony Costigan on the mouth organ.

Ned Kennedy provided a historical rendering on the War of Independence - an inspiring insight into those events in Kilkenny.

Tom Kavanagh read Seamus Heaney’s poem The Road to Derry, followed by a rendition of The Dying Rebel by Gillian Queally, who was accompanied by Gary Barnaville on guitar. 

Joseph Mary Plunkett’s poem 'I see his blood upon the Rose' was read by Brian Maher. Seamus Bergin then performed the Seamus Heaney poem Requiem for the Croppies. This was followed by another song from Gillian Queally entitled Grace.

Mrs Mary Bergin, Blackwood, Freshford, then laid a wreath at the flagpole before raising the flag. The last word was left to Cllr Michael McCarthy.

“I want to thank each of the participants who have made today's commemoration an occasion to remember and be immensely proud of," he said.

"First and foremost, our organising committee who yet again have pulled out all the stops to ensure the successful and smooth running of the event.  To our musicians who as always were up there with the best. To our singers melodious and pleasing to all, to our articulate MC, to our local Gardai for their assistance and directions, to Kilkenny County Council for the much appreciated canopy which kept all dry, to all who organised the memorabilia in the community hall, special thanks to Jim.

"To our friends from Kilkenny, John Joe and his Flying Column members are now well and truly having a presence countywide. We hope you make this an annual event, should your busy diary facilitate. To the providers of necessary equipment and of course our national flag, and indeed the young lady whose privilege it was to raise the flag and the wreath. To Collette, busy as usual preparing niceties in the community hall.

"Last night we had a most successful Cabaret, a big thank to one and all who made it both a social and a financial success. To the many people who donated prizes, thanks very much.

"Finally, to all who graced us with their presence today it is very much appreciated. We will be making a handsome donation to the Irish Cross Organization to enable them to continue with that vital means of support to those horribly afflicted children and adults in the Ukraine. May I conclude by wishing all a happy and safe Easter."                                

The ceremonies then concluded with the singing of the National Anthem, Amhran na Bhfiann.

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