Sinn Féin MP calls for republican unity to help achieve Liam Lynch’s vision of a republic
Republicans gather at spot where Lynch was killed to mark 90th anniversary of his death
Band members from Carrick-on-Suir stand to attention at the Gen Liam Lynch memorial for the annual commemoration in Goatenbridge, Co Tipperary. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
Irish republicans should aim to achieve the unity enjoyed by Sinn Féin in 1918 if they wish to realise the vision of a genuine republic held by War of Independence and republican hero Gen Liam Lynch, according to Sinn Féin MP for Mid-Ulster Francie Molloy.
Mr Molloy told a commemoration to mark the 90th anniversary of the death of Lynch in the Civil War that Lynch had striven to maintain unity for as long as possible over the Treaty but ultimately vowed to stand by the Irish Republic. “Liam Lynch tried to maintain the unity of republicanism and keep everyone together even with the Treaty – he had a dream of building and living in a republic . . . It is important now we bring together the republican family that was so divided in the past to achieve that aim.”
About 200 people made their way up the 5km dusty mountain track leading from Goatenbridge to the 50ft-high round-tower monument that stands in a forest clearing and marks the spot where Lynch was mortally wounded in the last days of the Civil War on April 10th, 1923.
Among those attending yesterday’s ceremony was committee member and veteran Cashel republican Marcus Fogarty, who explained that the monument was erected in 1935 by republicans with donations from all over Ireland and beyond.
“The day it was unveiled in 1935 by the then chief of staff of the IRA, Maurice Twomey, the heavens opened and the priest in Newcastle down below gave a sermon that it was God’s hand that it shouldn’t have been opened,” he smiled roguishly.
Looking out over the patchwork of green and golden fields stretching into the smothering haze of heat of the Suir valley, Mr Fogarty pointed to the steep gradient as proof of the determination shown by those who built the monument and their great regard for Lynch.
“There was a great commitment shown by the people in putting this monument here on the mountainside – there was no track here then and they brought up the stones on donkeys, stone by stone, but it was very barren and the commemoration didn’t continue. But we started it again in 1957 and we’ve kept it going since.”