by ehistoryadmin on February 3, 2021

The Kildare Observer 11 August 1917



The first Sinn Fein demonstration ever held in the county took place on Sunday last at Naas, when over 3,000 were addressed by Mr. Arthur Griffith, founder of the Sinn Fein movement, and other prominent speakers. The meeting was originally arranged to be held in the Main street, but an order was published under the Defence of the Realm Act, signed by Sir Bryan Mahon, declaring the meeting proclaimed, and forbidding all public processions or marching in bodies in the town of Naas, and the venue was changed to the Football Field.

On the motion of Mr. James O’Conner, Co.C., seconded by Mr. Eamonn Moran, D C., the Rev. Father O’Brien, C.C. Kill, was moved to the chair, amidst applause. Mr. J. Fitzgerald, Chairman Co. Kildare G.A.A., acted as secretary to the meeting and read the following resolutions, which were adopted:

“That we demand that the remains of the Irish Republican soldiers, executed by the English Government against the laws of civilised warfare, be restored to their relatives to be accorded Christian burial” (hear, hear).

“That we pledge ourselves to nullify the proposed denationalisation of Irish history teaching in our elementary schools” (applause).

“That this meeting, representatives of different districts in Co. Kildare, call on the men and women of Kildare to immediately join a branch of Sinn Fein, and with the rest of Ireland present a united front at the Peace Conference to claim for Ireland Sovereign Independence” (loud applause).

Several speakers addressed the meeting. Mr. J. Fitzgerald proposed a vote of thanks to Father O’Brien for presiding. Mr. Moran, D.C. seconded, and the proposition was put to the meeting by Mr. Lyons and carried with acclamation.

Re-typed by Riona Daly


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