Cllr Mícheál Mac Donncha unveils plaque to Edward Walsh
Sinn Féin Cllr Mícheál Mac Donncha, Cathaoirleach of the DCC Commemorative Naming Committee, has unveiled a plaque to Edward Walsh today.
Cllr MacDonncha said:
You are very welcome to this short ceremony to pay tribute to Edward Walsh, a brave Irish patriot, a man who fought and died for the freedom of the Irish people 100 years ago on 24 April 1916.
A very special welcome to the members of Edward’s family who are with us here today.
Many thanks to them for working to ensure that Edward would be honoured in this way and thanks also to all the staff of Dublin City Council who worked on this project.
Edward Walsh lived at 8 Lower Dominic Street, within short walking distance of this site where he was mortally wounded. He left behind a wife and two children when he marched out on Easter Monday 1916 to join his comrades in the fight for the Irish Republic.
For a family man such as Edward, and for his family, his loss was doubly tragic, but, like so many, he was prepared to face the worst for the common good of the people of Ireland.
Edward was a member of the Hibernian Rifles, a small group with Irish-American links which was close to the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army. Around 20 members of the Hibernian Rifles took
the Easter Rising and Edward was the only one of them who was killed.
Recent research has revealed more about the Hibernian Rifles and their part in the Rising is being belatedly recognised.
Edward went into the Rising as a member of the Hibernian Rifles but after the Irish Republic was proclaimed on Easter Monday James Connolly said that there were now no separate forces on the Irish side but only one - the Army of the Irish Republic. And it is as a Volunteer soldier of that Army that we pay tribute to Edward Walsh.
Edward was gravely wounded in the fighting that raged around City Hall and the rooftops of Parliament Street and he died that same day, the day the Republic was proclaimed, 24 April 1916.
He was one of the first Republicans to die that week and this is the very first of Dublin City Council’s 1916 Centenary plaques which we will be unveiling to honour those who participated in the Rising and
to mark key sites in the battle of Easter Week.
I think it is very appropriate that, with this first plaque we honour one of the least known casualties, one of the rank and file, a representative of those who answered the call of Pearse and Connolly despite all the confusion of that Easter weekend.
As I stated recently when we unveiled a plaque for the members of the Dublin Fire Brigade who took part in the Rising, I think I speak for the vast, vast majority of the citizens of Dublin when I say that we are immensely proud of the men and women who fought in the Easter Rising of 1916.
Unreservedly, unapologetically we say that these men and women were heroes in the true sense of the word, because they risked everything; they challenged, in this city, the might of the British Empire, the greatest empire the world had ever seen, and they fought bravely for the freedom of the Irish people.
Let us have no
hesitation in saying that – we
should be nothing but proud of them. They were heroes.
We remember them, we honour them and we remember and reflect on the Proclamation of the Irish Republic for which they fought, that Proclamation that is still so relevant and still speaks to us today of rights, equality and freedom.