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Síle Heneghan

Waterford's Revolutionary Women 1916-1922

18. Síle Heneghan
Tontaleva, Bundorracha, Co Mayo - Dungarvan, Co Waterford - Galway City (1909 - 2012)

Síle Heneghan was born in Tontaleva, Bundorracha, Co Mayo on November 2, 1909. She was a lifelong Irish patriot who worked for and remained true to the 32-county Irish Republic proclaimed on the steps of the General Post Office by Padraic Pearse on Easter Monday 1916.  She was a young girl of six and a half when the Easter Rising took place.  The men and women of 1916 were her heroes.  Pearse, Connolly and Mac Bride were deaths she could recall.  Through the War of Independence the Heneghan house was home to many a patriot who sought refuge while on the run from the from the Black and Tans.

Síle worked in Thurles in the early 1940's where she joined Cumann na mBan before moving to Dungarvan, Co Waterford to manage four shops for the Walsh family.  In the mid-1950s she emigrated to United States. During her time there she joined numerous Irish-American organizations including Irish Northern Aid (NORAID).  As a member of NORAID she worked with George Harrison and Mike Flannery, prominent leaders of the Irish Republican movement in the U.S.  During her years in the U.S. she corresponded with Republican prisoners in Portlaoise prison and visited with them on her trips to Ireland.

In 1983, S?le returned to Ireland, settling in Galway city.  For the rest of her active life she was a true and fearless supporter of every Republican activity both at the local and national levels. Every year she embarked on a pilgrimage to Wolfe Tone's grave in Bodenstown, Co. Kildare to bear allegiance to the founder of Irish Republicanism.  Síle passed away on February 5, 2012 aged 102 and is buried in Leenane Cemetery in West Galway.

Source: Mayo News, Síle Heneghan Tuesday, 06 March 2012

Author: Chrissy O'Connor Knight & Eddie Cantwell

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