19 Aug 2022

Party's 'hijack' of Clonfin event condemned

Official commemoration to take place online this weekend

Gardaí in the Granard district broke up a political gathering at the Clonfin Memorial on Sunday  afternoon where a number of people were present and in breach of Covid-19 regulations.

It is understood a number of those present  were members of a political party attempting to host their own commemoration of the Clonfin Ambush, which is not being held as normal this year due to Covid-19. The 100th anniversary commem- oration will instead be held online this weekend.

Six people were spoken to by gardaí on the scene and a file is being prepared for the DPP in relation to a number of alleged breached public health guidelines.

Local Senator and Ballinalee native Micheál Carrigy, on behalf of Longford’s Decade of Centenaries committee, expressed  disappointment at the party’s actions.

“There is a committee that has worked hard this year to organise an online event for the Clonfin Commemoration and that committee has always been a-political,” said Senator Carrigy.

“It has always been supported by all political parties and nobody has ever tried to make a political statement at it and it’s disappointing to think that this group - or any group - would hijack that.

“I’m delighted that the gardaí were there and able to enforce the Covid-19 regulations that are in place but it is very disappointing that any party would do that.

“A voluntary committee has been running that commemoration every year and doing fantastic work and it is disappointing that any party would try and hijack that in the current circumstances.”

One of the people present at the gathering was driving a vehicle which had no tax, insurance or NCT. Gardaí have seized the vehicle under Section 41 of the Road Traffic Act and proceedings will follow.

As we approach the 100th Anniversary of the famous Battle of Clonfin (February 2) and in order to follow Government guidelines regarding Covid-19 a virtual Commemoration Ceremony is being recorded and will be broadcast on Sunday, February 7 at 3pm.

This recording will be available on the Youtube channel of Longford County Library, Heritage and Archives Services.

It will also be available on the Facebook page Decade of Centenaries Longford.

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