Crowds take in Albert tribute

Crowds take in Albert tribute
Eight months after his passing, former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds was remembered at a very special ceremony in Aughnacliffe at the weekend.

Eight months after his passing, former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds was remembered at a very special ceremony in Aughnacliffe at the weekend.

Around 150 onlookers turned up at Aughnacliffe’s Lebeen Lake to witness the planting of an oak tree and dedication of a park bench in memory of the former Taoiseach last Sunday.

Members of the late Fianna Fail leader’s family were there too, led by his sons, Philip and Abbie and daughters Emer and Cathy.

They were joined by third generation Reynolds family members, some of whom helped in the official planting of the oak tree.

A simple inscription read simply: ‘Commemorating Albert Reynolds, TD, Taoiseach and the Anglo-Irish Peace Declaration.”

In his address to those watching on a amid glorious sunshine, Philip Reynolds spoke warmly of the decision to honour his late father in this way.

He said both he and the Reynolds family were especially pleased at the decision to plant an oak tree in honour to his late father.

The tree’s notoriety for “longevity” was an appeal, he said would hopefully live on for centuries to come.

Equally the oak, or Quercus Robur to give it its offical name, and its wide spreading crown was in sync with his late father’s all inclusive approach to life.

The day also coincided in the official dedication of a bench seat accompanied with the words: ‘Albert Reynolds, TD, Taoiseach 1932-2014.

There were complimentary speeches too from organising committee chairperson PJ Mulligan and Lebeen Park Development Ltd Chairperson, Gearoid Mulligan.

The former described the late Mr Reynolds as a “fearless and enlihghtened patriot” while the latter spoke of the need to provide toilet facilities at the popular walking and recreational venue.

Chairperson of the local Rosduff Cumann, Michael Dobson presented a cheque for €200 to the association.

One of the event’s main organisers, Benny Reid, meanwhile, also addressed members of the public.

He paid particular thanks to Lebeen Park Development Ltd directors, most notably Vinny Hawkins who he said, had done “trojan work” in readying the site.

Similar appreciation was also given to Mick Fenelon and Ray Fenelon of Fenelon Engineering who provided the steel plaque, Gary Murtagh, LCRL and to Eddie Hawkins who mounted the plaque.