Kilkenny soldiers remembered and commemorated

Piper Finbarr McCarthy who performed at the WWll commemoration

Photos by Pat Shortall

On Sunday June 9th, a gathering took place at Mac Donagh railway station to remember those who participated in WW ll.

Organised by The Kilkenny Great War memorial committee, it was a very dignified affair that saw candles being lit and wreaths being laid for those who fought in the war.

The day was complemented by songs and music.

Proceedings got under way with a minutes silence as a mark of respect.

Speaking to The Kilkenny Observer newspaper, chair of the organising committee Donal Croghan thanked everyone for attending the commemoration, explaining that it was so important to remember the Irish men and women who took part in previous wars.

“Today, just a few days after the 80th anniversary of D-Day, this ceremony remembers the 64 men and women of Kilkenny and the local areas, who lost their lives and the more than 130 known veterans of World War 2”, said Mr Croghan.

The memorial is poignantly placed at the train station, where many local men began their journey towards the trenches of the First World War and the battles of the Second World War.

Donal Croghan continued:“80 years has passed since the D-Day invasion of the Normandy Beaches which was a very definitive date in the history of World War Two, and we are here today to honour the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who served from Kilkenny in what was the most devastating conflict in human history.

Across the world soldiers, nurses, and civilians endured injury and suffering on a scale previously unknown to humanity” , continued Donal.

Approximately 50 million people died as a consequence of World War 2 although the precise number will never be known.

Donal went on to say that The Southern Ireland sacrifice is epitomised by the Kilkenny and Irish people who joined in Battle with the forces of the United Kingdom, Canada, United States of America and Australia and they have to be commended, as most joined voluntary to fight Nazism. The gathering was asked to reflect on how they left their homes, their jobs and loved ones to stand up and to be counted in the world’s hour of need.

Participants on the days events included Ger Cody who sang, ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers, and ‘Blowing in the wind’ by Bob Dylan, while John Joe Cullen read President Roosevelt’s D Day prayer’

Wreaths were laid by the following : Donal Croghan (chairman of the Kilkenny Great war memorial committee) Kay Nagle (Association of Disbanded Irish Regiments), Bobby Kearney (Chair of O.N.E), Commnt’ Larry Scallan retired ( Post 8 UN Vets) Alison Hallahan (RNA), Alan O’Keeffe (son of Jim O’Keeffe, RAF, originally from Kells), Phil Lecane (Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association.)

Piper Finbarr McCarthy played a lament in memory of those who died and those who returned home, while Commt’ Larry (Scallan retired) played The Last Post and Reveille.

Proceedings closed with Finbarr Mcarthy playing the National Anthem.

Donal Croghan extended a word of thanks to Kilkenny County Council for their ongoing support to the memorial projects and also thanked Mr Ciaran Kelly and staff at MacDonagh Railway station for their support and assistance.


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