2001-10-20 / Columnists

Meet The Irish by Harry McGuirk

Eighty years ago the Brits declared total warfare against the I.R.A. The patriotic band had little arms and not much chance of winning against the foe (England). But the Irish volunteers decided to do or die. Men and women went to war in Dublin and around the countryside.

Kevin Barry and his small army took on the well-armed Brits, shot some and they were surrounded and brought to Mount Joy Jail.

Kevin Barry was hanged there and wore his kilt. Last Sunday, in the pores of rain, the coffins were taken from the jail yard and given a beautiful funeral. I stood in the rain and blessed myself with thousands of people saddened by the sight of the tri colour flown at half-mast. My arm stretched almost to Kevin’s coffin and his comrades. What took them so long? Fifty years later, the nation seemed to asked but better late than never. They were buried in Glasinejon, Dublin. My own little mother often cried salt tears at the untimely deaths of these youths. Eighteen years and up college boys, Pre-med at Dublin University. Eighty years later in Dublin, we all shed tears again during the High Mass Richie O’Shea made Kevin Barry and asked me to endorse it a nice Christmas thought.

We all hope in our lifetime that a nation will be Ireland, a nation once again for all faith and national origins to enjoy.

God Bless Kevin Barry and all who loved him.

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