Republicans Gather In Fermanagh In Tribute To South And O’Hanlon

A 1916 Societies report on a commemorative event in Fermanagh.

On Saturday past, yesterday, upwards of 100 people from across Ireland joined the Matt Fitzpatrick Society Newtownbutler for what was their fourth annual Sean South and Fergal O’Hanlon Commemoration at Altawalk in Fermanagh. There, at Moane’s Cross on New Years Day 1957, South and O’Hanlon were killed on Active Service for the Republic. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam.

Proceedings were Chaired by veteran Republican Barry Murray, who welcomed the crowd, speaking of ‘the courage and commitment of South and O’Hanlon’, before calling for a minute’s silence in sympathy with the McKearney family in the Moy, whose mother Maura was buried this morning. A reading of The Proclamation followed, given by local man Eamonn McPhillips, before Ex-IRA POW Brian McHugh read the Fermanagh Roll of Honour.

Wreaths were then laid by the Matt Fitzpatrick Society, Friends and Comrades, the Sean MacDiarmada Society Fermanagh, the James Connolly Society Monaghan and the Fermanagh Independent Republican Committee, followed by a Lowering of the Flag to a lament on the whistle by John Erwin. A Colour Party stood to attention throughout proceedings.

Tyrone Republican and National PRO of the 1916 Societies, Sean Bresnahan, then gave the main oration, calling on those present to ‘work harder and closer than ever before to advance radical political change’, to establish a ‘new Ireland where issues as homelessness, sectarianism, poverty and emigration – which deface our society and trample its dignity – are no longer the lot of our people’.

In his concluding remarks he called for a ‘national campaign that takes no heed of partition – empowering working people while connecting their struggles, each to the other and in turn to the Republic’. Calling for a ‘full restoration of Irish national sovereignty’ he implored that republicans ‘work together until Irish Freedom has been secured and the Republic of 1916 rebuilt’. The full text of his speech will shortly appear on

Events drew to a close with John Erwin playing Amhrán na bhFiann on the whistle before those in attendance made their way to An Chéad Chumann in Newtonbutler for refreshments. The Matt Fitzpatrick Society take this opportunity to thank all who made the journey to Altawalk and look forward to meeting again at next year’s commemoration.

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