1916 Rising – 40th Anniversary Ceremonies

 in Moyode, Athenry, Co. Galway

on the 28 April 1956

Source: Connacht Tribune, 28.04.1956, page 10

Ceremonies to mark the fortieth anniversary of the occupation of Moyode Castle, Athenry, by 700 members of the I.R.A. under Liam Mellows, were held in the grounds of Moyode on Sunday. Over 200 survivors of the croup, all wearing service medals, fanned up in front of the ruined castle where Mass was celebrated by Rev. Professor T. Fahy. M.A„ B.D., U.C.G., for Liam Mellows and the dead members of the garrison.

Cumann  na mBan

A guard of honour was drawn from the Athenry Company, F.C.A. under Lieut. Frank Kilkelly, a son of a member of the 1916 garrison, The general salute was sounded by Corporal Cassidy, Dun Ui Maolliosa. Among those present were seven members of Cumann na mBan— survivors of a group of twenty women who looked after the men during the occupation of the castle. They were Mrs. L. Lardner, Athenry, widow of Larry Lardner, second in command to Liam Mellowes; Mrs. J. Connor, Mrs. M. Ruane, Mrs, P. Kennedy, Mrs. McNamara. Mrs. Fleming and Miss Clancy.

Priests Present

The attendance included Very Rev. W. Commlns P.P., Kilconieron; Very Rev. P. Kelly, C.S.S.R., Rector, St Patrick’s. Esker: Rev. C. McNiff, C.S.S.R., and Very Rev. J. Larkin, P.P.. PeterswelL


Rev. Professor Fahy said that the name of Irishmen would always be associated with their great struggle down the years for their Faith and Fatherland. For centuries they were oppressed, but the spark of faith and nationalism remained and could never be oppressed. The drudgery and slavery to which they were subjected only helped to knit more closely together that determination to win through. God supplied that wonderful leader in the person of Padraic Pearse who decided it was time to throw off the yoke of slavery, and choose Easter Week, 1916, as the opportune moment The nation was resolved. The men of Galway assembled here, poorly armed, and no hope of reward.

Proud of those men

Continuing, Rev. Professor Fahy said: “I, with Fr. Feeney and Fr. McNamara, administered to the troops, and none knew better than us the seriousness with which they took the job in hands. It showed that the hearts of Connacht men were in the right place. They gave no thought to the fact that they were challenging one of the greatest powers in the world. It was considered madness in the sight of the world, but yet it received the sympathy of the world and was responsible for the yoke of oppression being lifted from four-fifths of our country. The remaining one-fifth, in God’s good time, will be delivered also. We have to be proud of those men and the organisation they represent.” he concluded.


Mr. Mattie Niland. Brigade Adjutant, welcoming those who had attended, said that forty years had rolled by since the events they were celebrating took place. Many of their members had died—Liam Mellowes, who was a natural born leader; Larry Lardner, Eamon Corbett, Sean Broderick and others, to mention but a few.

Tribute to Fr. Feeney

He paid tributes to the priests who were there with them, who gave them good counsel, information and moral support, and who addressed them from the steps of Limepark House before disbanding. One might still find happiness in thinking over the proud deeds of those days. He wished to pay special tribute to the Rev. Fr. Harry Feeney who, at that time, was a curate in Clarenbridge and who remained with them in Moyode. His example and moral approval was a guiding light throughout those terrible days. He (Fr. Feeney) used his own fireplace for smelting lead for cartridges, and his last act was the erection of a stained glass window in his church at Shrule to the memory of Easter Week.

Concluding, Mr, Niland said: “Many people, to the detriment of the present generation, may say that the youth of today are not as good as those who went before; This is a pure fallacy.”