In the run up to easter, as part of éirígí’s ongoing Reclaim the Republic campaign, copies of the 1916 Proclamation were distributed for free to households in the town over the weekend and a number of national flags and éirígí flags were also erected in the Derrybeg, Carnaget and Camlough areas as part of the 1916 celebrations.
On Easter Saturday in Newry wreaths were laid at four separate monuments as well as the republican plot in St Mary’s graveyard.
Republican plot in St Mary's
Wreath on Republican Plot
Derrybeg Volunteers Monument
Wreath on Derrybeg Monument
Michael Hughes Monument
Wreath on the Vol. Brendan Watters Monument
Wreath On St Mary's Memorial Cross
On Easter Monday Republicans from Newry attended the Easter Commemoration in Belfast. Upwards of 500 people gathered in Belfast to remember all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.
Assembling at the gates of Milltown Cemetery on the Falls Road, the marchers made their way to the Harbinson republican plot led by the Kilkeel republican flute band, where proceedings got underway.
éirígí national vice-chairperson Rab Jackson chaired the event and began by highlighting the plight of the republican prisoners in Maghaberry Jail, who had begun a protest against appalling conditions.
The Proclamation of the Irish Republic was read by former Armagh political prisoner Maire Drumm, before wreaths were laid on behalf of éirígí’s ciorcal naisiúnta, éirígí Béal Feirste and republican ex-prisoners.
Pádraic Mac Coitir and Rab Jackson
The main oration was read by one-time blanketman and former chair of the Belfast National Graves Association Pádraic Mac Coitir.
This time last year there was no éirígí wreaths, flags, or proclamations in Newry, there wasn't even a presence, and now this year they are laying wreaths at monuments, erecting flags, banners and distributing leaflets and proclamations. I wonder how far they will progress in the Newry area over the next year?