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Newcastle Commemorates General Liam Lynch Centenary
Newcastle has today commemorated the Centenary of the death of Liam Lynch, who was shot dead at the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains during the Civil War, 100 years ago today. Today's events took place as part of a Centenary Weekend, which were organised by the Newcastle General Liam Lynch Memorial Committee.
Founded in 1934, the committee this weekend honoured the Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army, culminating in today's events which began with a Wreath Laying Ceremony this morning at 9:00am at the Liam Lynch Monument, located a short distance from Goatenbridge and Newcastle, at the site of where Lynch was shot on 10th April 1923.
After the laying of the wreaths, those in attendance were treated to a musical performance and a marching procession before continuing back to Newcastle for a continuation of the day's events.
In the village there was the raising of the Tricolour at Tigh na nDaoine at 11:30am, with memorabilia related to Lynch on display inside.
A parade led by the Liam Lynch Memorial Pipe Band marched from the Newcastle GAA Field to the Our Lady of the Assumption Church in the village, where a Centenary mass was said at 12 noon by the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan.
The afternoon saw the unveiling of a commemorative plaque at Nugent's pub in recognition of the events that took place in the house 100 years ago, most notably the death of Lynch, as well as the Annual Commemoration Event in the Community Hall, where Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív TD delivered an oration to the crowd. Speaking at the event, Ó Cuív thanked Deputy Mattie McGrath and the Committee for the invitation to speak at the event, and paid tribute to Liam Lynch, a man who gave his life for the freedom of Ireland.
As part of his speech, the Galway TD complimented the Dublin historian, Gerard Shannon, on the recent publication of his of his book, Liam Lynch: To Declare a Republic. Ó Cuív then continued with an account of Lynch's life and involvement in the Irish fight for independence, as well as an account of the Civil War, of which Lynch tried to prevent, and of the events which led to his death.
Concluding his oration, Ó Cuív emphasised the legacy of his death, the establishment of Fianna Fáil and the changes which occurred in the political landscape since then. Mentioning the importance of dialogue as a way forward in the context of remembering the signing of the Good Friday Agreement 25 years ago, Ó Cuív paid homage to three people from differing traditions, Gordon Wilson, Father Alex Reid and John Hume, who realised that any progress had to be predicated on an inclusive dialogue even with those who had been involved in violence or excluded from dialogue to that point.