Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Over 1,500 Remember Volunteers in Ardboe

The following article was written by a comrade from East Tyrone

Today over 1,500 people gathered in Ardboe on the Lough Shore of East Tyrone to Remember 3 Volunteers who gave their lives for Irish Freedom 20 years ago.

Todays march organised by the Volunteers Family's in conjunction with the Eamonn Ceannt Society Coalisland/Clonoe and Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa Society Ardboe, was the pinnacle of a week of events celebrating the lives of Volunteers Tony Doris, Pete Ryan and Laurence McNally which included an Exhibition (which will be open in Ardboe Hall until Monday night) The Launch of a commemorative DVD attended by almost 500, wreath laying ceremonies at the Volunteers graves and a candle lit vigil from Tony's Grave in Brackavile to the monument near his home in Coalisland attended by over 300 but the show of support today for the Volunteers Family's who had organised the march was outstanding and shows the esteem with which Tony, Pete and Lawrence are still held today.

The Family's, Society's, Bands and Supporters gathered in a field near Duffs corner in Ardboe and at 3.30 lead by a colour party from the society's marched to the Monument at Ardboe hall over a mile and a half away, the sun split the trees as over 1500 people marched the full width of the road in an impressive display, support for the Protesting POWs in Magaberry Gaol was evident as over 30 ex POWs in white shirts and black ties marched flanked by two banners (ex POWs against strip searching & Prisoners Struggle continues) a slogan on a near by wall also spoke of the protest, by the Monument in Ardboe a platform on a trailer had been erected and the Family and loved ones took pride of place the Tyrone Brigade roll of honor was read, songs were sang and Francie Mc Nally spoke on behalf of the Family's, the National anthem was played and tea and Refreshments served in the hall while the Exhibition was open upstairs, the DVDs were also on sale.

A great Day, fair play to all involved couldn't help thinking looking at the size of the crowd that Republicanism in Tyrone has not been this strong in years, a corner has definitely been turned.

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