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Press Release - Unveiling of Statue to the Patriot, John Devoy

Unveiling of Statue to the Patriot, John Devoy

The unveiling of a statue to the patriot John Devoy, 'the Greatest of the Fenians,' at Poplar Square, Naas, on 25 October 2015 will be a unique historic event.

The week-long programme, planned by the Kildare Decade of Commemorations Committee, will begin on Monday, 19th October, with the launch of Tom Nelson’s book “Through Peace and War: Kildare County Council in the Years of Revolution, 1899-1926”, in Áras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas. It will close with the statue’s unveiling, by the Mayor of Kildare, Councillor Brendan Weld, at 2.00 p.m., on Sunday, 25th October and the subsequent launch, at 4.00 p.m., of the County Kildare 1916-2016 Programme in McCauley Place, Naas.

The John Devoy Memorial Committee was founded in Naas, Co Kildare, by local man Seamus Curran in 2008. A New York John Devoy Memorial Committee was set up as a sub-committee of the County Kildare Association and quite quickly raised $45,000 to erect the statue. The location for the monument was chosen by the Naas and New York Committees with the agreement of Kildare County Council.

Cast by sculptor Jarlath Daly the life-size statue of John Devoy will be erected near to where Devoy worked and across the street from Our Lady and St. David’s Catholic Church, where he was condemned from the pulpit in 1865 by Fr Hughes for his political activities in the name of Irish freedom. The memorial will revive interest in this great hero, largely forgotten by history, as the Irish at home and around the world prepare for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. A week-long series of events will take place to coincide with the unveiling and the visit by members of the New York Kildare Association.

Event Schedule:
On Monday, 19th October, at 12 noon, Tom Nelson will launch his book Through peace and war. Kildare County Council in the Years of Revolution, 1899-1926, in Áras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas. Terry Golway’s, Irish Rebel: John Devoy and America’s Fight for Ireland’s Freedom, will be re-published by Merrion Press, Sallins, for the occasion. A new book by Kildare Historian in Residence, James Durney, Foremost and Ready: Kildare and the 1916 Rising is likewise planned to coincide with the event.

Kildare County Council is hosting two nights of entertainment in Naas Town Hall for the U.S. visitors and residents of the county: ‘The Percy French Story,’ by Owen C Lynch and Mona Conroy will be performed at 8.00 p.m., on Friday, 23rd and Saturday, 24th October.

Earlier on Saturday, the County Kildare Federation of Local History Groups host their annual seminar in Kilcullen Heritage Centre, at 11.30 am. Guest speaker, Adhamhnán Ó Súilleabháin, will deliver an illustrated talk on his grandfather, 1916 veteran, Domhnall Ua Buachalla, from Maynooth.

The Kildare Decade of Commemorations Programme, 1916-2016, features over ninety unique projects. It is full of exciting themes, projects and community-led activities such as concerts, school pageants, book launches, drama, musical and dance performances, art exhibitions, lectures and seminars.

Further details can be found on Kildare County Council’s website and Facebook:

Tickets for ‘The Percy French Story’ will be available on a first come first served basis. Tickets are FREE but limited, maximum two tickets per person, and must be booked through the dedicated ticket line. The ticket line will open on Wednesday, 7th October from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm. This event is guaranteed to sell out, so early booking is advised.

To Book your tickets for ‘The Percy French Story’ or for further information contact: 045 448352

Opening hours: 9.00 am-1.00 pm Wednesday 7 October



2 October 2015

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