1916 Celebrations The Parade in Killybegs
A very fitting tribute to those who fought in the 1916 Rising was held on Sunday, May 9th. After last Mass, a lone piper, Struan Charters, manager of the Niall Mór Community Centre, led the parade from the church of St Mary of the Visitation.
He was followed by a pre-tricolour flag, green with golden harp. The parade consisted of Killybegs Cubs and Beavers, St Catherine's accordion band, children from the three national schools, representatives of Killybegs GAA, members of the local volunteer fire brigade unit in uniform, the Killaghtee band, representatives of St Catherine's FC, children of the Bonner Cannon School of Dancing, and a well turned-out contingent representing Cumann na nBan with women in uniform bearing arms and other women and children in period dress.
The parade marched up Main Street, down Kelly's Quay and back along the Shore Road to the Diamond. Thomas Pringle TD read the Proclamation and two young pupils from Fintra National School, Sean Boyle and Shane Byrne, read their version of a proclamation as it could be today, calling for an end to hospital waiting lists, the provision of full employment and an end to emigration, free education for all, and a welcome "with open arms" to those coming here from other countries, "just as we Irish were welcomed by other countries." They also called for preservation of the environment and that we should make more time for each other.
The song, "Grace" was beautifully rendered by Lauren Gormley and Edel Bann from St Catherine's Vocational School. Danny Coleman acted as MC and sang traditional Irish songs. Local school-children released 40 balloons in memory of the 40 children who died in the Rising.
The tricolour was raised by Ms Esther Molloy and her sister, Mrs Moira Mallon, unveiled the stone plaque which was carved by local stonemason, Ronan Crehan, and bears the words "Na Cealla Beaga 1916 - 2016". Fr Colm Ó Gallchóir said a special blessing over the stone, which will be relocated permanently to the small park where monuments already stand to those lost at sea and to the Spanish Armada.
Members of the local gun club, dressed in period clothing, fired a 21-gun salute with military precision. An exhibition of work by pupils at the three national schools was held in the Tara Hotel throughout the afternoon where the highlight was a slide-show on 1916 prepared by children from Fintra National School.More photos in the gallery ,