Leinster Leader, Saturday, May 28, 1898


The past week is one to be looked back upon with pride. The anniversary of the gallant attempt of the men of ’98 to throw off the English yoke was worthily celebrated. In Dublin especially was the occasion signalised by a splendid and heart-stirring demonstration, and, from the most widely separated districts of the country, come like encouraging reports. The efforts of the martyred patriots were not forgotten and demonstrations such as those, which the past few days have witnessed, will do much to keep their memory green. In all the towns and villages of Ireland, wherever a spark of national feeling still smouldered, wherever patriotism was honoured, and wherever noble feelings were not utterly rooted out by sordid and unmanly considerations, there were illuminations and processions, and there the names of the illustrious dead were invoked to inspirit and encourage in the onward path.
Numerous correspondents have forwarded us complete accounts of the demonstrations in their several neighbourhoods, which go to prove the widespread character of the celebrations, and unanimity and enthusiasm with which they were marked. A few places, from which something far different might have been expected, were apparently oblivious to the glorious, if ill-fated achievements which the rest of the country joined in celebrating, but in comparison with the grand total of those where bravery and patriotism were honoured, their number was insignificant. We subjoin short extracts from the reports forwarded us from some of the principal districts in every one of which the processions were carried out in the best of order. In no place was any excuse offered to the police authorities for interference.


This town held a specially successful celebration on last Monday evening. In the rising in Kildare, it was in the forefront, and there as an English chronicler mildly puts it a few houses were burned by the Royal troops. The celebration was carried out under the auspices of the local ’98 Centenary Club. The town was brilliantly illuminated, and tar barrels blazed on conspicuous places. A torchlight procession of imposing dimensions in front of which was carried a large green banner, and headed by the Straffan fife and drum band marched through the town and for some distance in the direction of Prosperous. After repeated cheers had been given for Captain Farrell and the brave men he commanded in ’98 the procession restarted to a famous spot above the town called Gallows Hill, on a certain portion of which local tradition has it, nothing can be got to grow.

The greatest enthusiasm prevailed, patriotic songs were sung, and the chorus taken up by hundreds of voices. Cheers were given for Wolfe Tone, Lord Edward, and the Pikemen of ’98, including the brave men of Clane, Straffan, and Prosperous, the forefathers of many of those present.

A large contingent accompanied the Straffan band and helped to swell the surprisingly large crowd that had collected in the town, notwithstanding the very short notice given of the demonstration.

The following members of the committee of the Centenary Club were present and worked energetically in organising and successfully carrying out the arrangements of the demonstration - Messrs Peter M Kittrick, P Clowry, Jas Archer, L Reddy, T Reid, T J Farrell, R Carney, L Cribbin, J Esmond, M Coffey, M Salmon, C H Farrell, T Reddy, E Diegan, E L Higgins, T Talbot, T Salmon, R Cribbin, P Esmond &c, &c. Expression was given by the members of the committee to their regret at the absence from amongst them of the late Mr John Geoghegan, a member of the committee, who had always been so prominently identified with every National movement, and whose advice and assistance had always been so willingly and so cheerfully tendered when any work had to be done in furtherance of the National cause.