2009-04-10 / Letters

Heroes of Ireland

Dear Editor,

We proudly walk up Fifth Avenue to celebrate St. Patrick, who took the snakes out of Ireland.

We must also remember those who died for Ireland. The men of 1916 were the bravest of the brave. Padraig Pearse was the pack. Conslanbel Marbority gave up her wealth to join the Rebellion.

It was Easter Sunday and these gallant men took over the G.P.O in Dublin. They truly believed they would win the Brits. Outnumbered and surrounded they valiantly continued the fight for their country, Ireland. The British did not like this, so they put them in the Mount Joy Jail.

The next part shows the extreme cruelty of the British. They showed no mercy. One leader was tied to a chair and shot. Their families were crying.

The McMahon family was involved in this struggle. The five McMahon brothers of County Monaghan bought arms and were taking them to various ports.

Owen McMahon was 12, his brother Patrick McMahon was 19. They put the guns in a big lorry. They went to Kerry and Galway and made it close to Dublin.

They learned it was too late. They cried. The men would be hung. They returned to County Monaghan. What were they to do?

Their father, Barney McMahon, was captured! They cried and they cried, "Daddy was jailed!" "We must be careful," Patrick told young Owen. "You go on to school and be a good boy."

I will tend the farm. Barney was imprisoned for three long years. He knew well, he was in trouble. He volunteered to help cook. He was given one extra slice of bread, and one extra glass of water.

Finally, the brothers decided enough was enough. They went to Dundalk prison and had a talk with the British captain. They wanted to bring cakes and scones to all the 200 prisoners. Aunt Maggie got very angry when the captain refused her cakes. So they told all their many friends in County Monaghan to bake bread, scones and Black bread for the prisoner's family. They knew trouble was at hand.

Finally, after years of peaceful negotiations, the local people sawed off the bars of the jail and escaped.

They found a way to go to New York City and work. They were ever so happy, New York was free.

They formed Sean O'Glain N Eire and met every Sunday. It was this, that and the other. The country bells, the weddings, the marriages, the children, the trips back, and Ireland! Everyone was happy.

On Easter Sunday, they celebrated the rising. It was always beautiful. A mass at the Coralite Church on 23rd Street, a parade to the fancy hotel, and a beautiful breakfast. An address by Frank Durban told all of the events that were happening in Ireland and America.

I was 12 years old when I heard him speak. I knew he was special. My dad and my uncles told me to take notes of Mr. Durban's talks. So I did, and typed them as well. Other friends helped me; it was a lot of work.

Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of England and North Ireland. She was mean and hateful. At the time of trouble, she wanted deadlock courts or trial by jury so that the men would be convicted. She wanted rubber bullets and hurt the young Irish children. Several children were seriously hurt in Belfast.

When the boys wanted to wear their own clothes in prison, she said, "No." They agreed to die for Ireland. "So be it!" Bobby Sands willingly gave his life for Ireland.

A very sad movie about his life was made recently with the title "Hanger." It was a brilliant movie and all freedom loving people should see it.

All teenagers of every ethnic background should see this film, and discuss it. The one who writes the best report should be given a trip to Ireland. The leaders in the Irish Community will find a way to fund this endeavor.

There are many wealthy persons of Irish background in the Rockaways, and meetings should be held at Healy's on 109th Street to discuss this. A fishing trip should fund this.

The wealthy and middle class Irish and Irish Americans living in Rockaway Park, Belle Harbor, and Breezy Point should organize and have cake sales to organize and fundraise for trips to Ireland for their teenage children to motivate them and learn about the heroes of Ireland.

PEGGY MCMAHON

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