A lecture on the War Of Independence and Civil War in Waterford delivered by Domnall O'Faoláin in 1966. Domnall was the son of Commandant Pax Whelan C/O of Waterford No. 2 Brigade I.R.A. during the War Of Independence. This article is written from a Republican perspective and presents a Republican view of events. The parts of the article that appear between square brackets [ ] are handwritten amendments to the original typed manuscript. This article was edited and typed by Mary Griffin.
Do thugas mo chul.
Ar an Aisling do chumas.
'S ar an rod so romhan.
M'aighidh do thugas.
Se an rod atha romham, is atha roimh gac mac mathair is nion athar sa tir seo, na crioch a cur leis an obair fonta a thosniod, sar ar rugadh tusa na mise, agus [gur] leanadh ar aigid [leis] ag muintir 1916, atha gha comoradh again an bhlian seo. Im thuairm se an comoradh bh'fearr a sasocaidh na laochrai den re sin, na crioch a chur leisan obair, se sin, an tir seo a saoru [ó ceartlár na tíre go dtí imeall bhanac na Mara Móire] on lar go dtí an fhairraige, agus a Ghaolu i dteangan agus i gcultuir. Tre ath fheachaint a [thubhairt ar an obair sin] ins an leigeact bheag seo, bfeidir go musclo ?? an spiorad ionnain-ne spreag na daoine idir 1916 agus 1923.
"In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to National freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms."
…extract from the Proclamation of the Republic of Ireland. Easter 1916.
In 1602 this right was asserted at the Battle of Kinsale and was taken up again by Father Murphy and the men of Wexford in 1798, and in this connection we must not forget Edmond Power [leader of the local United Irishmen], who was executed at the Market House in Dungarvan. A monument to his memory stands in Dungarvan Park. Five years later in 1803 the same National urge moved Robert Emmet to strike his blow for freedom, and in 1848 the young Irelanders rose out. They struck the blow for freedom in Cappoquin in 1849. Next year will be the centenary of the Fenian Rising in 1867, and it has a special significance for us here in County Waterford, as it was at Helvick Head that the "Erins Hope" brought the Fenians ashore. While on the Fenian Rising, I must mention Michael Doheny's book, "The Felons Track" which gives wonderful descriptions of his episodes in the Comeragh Mountains. On all occasions Waterford has close connections with the [Fight for Freedom] and so it was 50 years ago.
"And if there is anything that makes it fitting that I rather than some other, I rather than one of the grey haired men who were young with him and shared in his labour and suffering, should speak here it is perhaps that I may be taken as speaking on behalf of a new generation"……
These are not my words … but Pearse's at the grave of O'Donovan Rossa, so bear with me then if I, as one of the present younger generation try to re-live for you the most recent assertion of the Irish people to their National Freedom, and particularly in relation to West Waterford, in the hope that we will be re-baptised in the Fenian faith and accept the responsibility of carrying out the Fenian programme.
Author: Domnall O'Faoláin