Tribute paid to Roscommon notables

Mon, Mar 7, 2011, 00:00

THE FIRST TD recently declared elected in the Roscommon-South Leitrim constituency, Luke “Ming” Flanagan, was among those who attended a commemoration for a republican priest – and relative of his – at Dublin’s Glasnevin cemetery yesterday.

The priest, Fr Michael O’Flanagan, had recited prayers prior to the sitting of the first Dáil at Dublin’s Mansion House in January 1919. In the 1930s, he was one of the few Catholic priests in Ireland to support the Republican government in Spain. At the count centre in Roscommon town on the night he was elected, Mr Flanagan described it as an example of “history coming around to sting itself in the arse”.

This was a reference to Fr O’Flanagan, who had also campaigned on behalf of turf-cutters. In June 1915 the priest organised a turf-cutters’ assault on a bog in Co Sligo from which they were being excluded by authorities. He was moved from the parish by his bishop. Local people boarded up the church in his absence until he was allowed back, months later.

Also remembered at yesterday’s commemorations in Glasnevin, organised by the Roscommon Association, were Patrick Moran of Crossna near Boyle, who was executed 90 years ago on March 14th, 1921, and Fenian leader Edward Duffy of Ballaghaderreen and Loughglynn, who died in 1868 while in jail for treason at Millbank Prison in London.

A Mass for all three was celebrated in the cemetery chapel, and afterwards wreaths were laid on the three men’s graves.

Yesterday’s events also marked the beginnings of Patrick Moran Week, which will be launched in Dún Laoghaire Town Hall tonight by cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council, Cllr Lettie McCarthy. The week has been organised by the council, the Mandate trade union, local GAA clubs and the Roscommon Association.

Moran worked in Dún Laoghaire and Blackrock, where he was active in the trade union movement and became involved in the 1913 lock-out. He was hanged in 1921 following his disputed conviction for the shooting of two British agents in Mount Street, Dublin, on Bloody Sunday 1920.