Madigan Muses: May, the Month of Memorials


Madigan Muses: May, the Month of Memorials
By Marilyn Madigan

During the month of May, we honor our mothers and two major memorials: Police Memorial Day on May 15th and Memorial Day on the last Monday of the month. I believe it is fitting that these events are remembered during the same month.

It is our Mothers that teach us about love and service to others. We thank our mothers for helping us become the individuals we are in service to our communities and our country. In thinking of Mother’s Day and the Memorials we hold in May, the poem Mother by Padraic Pearse comes to mind. An excerpt:

“I do not grudge them: Lord, I do not grudge
My two strong sons that I have seen go out
To break their strength and die, they and a few,
In bloody protest for a glorious thing,
They shall be spoken of among their people,
The generations shall remember them,
And call them blessed;
But I will speak their names to my own heart
In the long nights;
The little names that were familiar once
Round my dead hearth.
Lord, thou art hard on mothers:
We suffer in their coming and their going;
And tho’ I grudge them not, I weary, weary
Of the long sorrow-And yet I have my joy:
My sons were faithful, and they fought.”

We remember the Heroes of Easter Week every year on the Anniversaries of their executions.
This year is the 40thAnniversary of the deaths of the Hunger Strikers.

We remember:

May 3, 1916: Thomas Clarke, Thomas MacDonagh, and Padraic Pearse

May 4, 1916: Joseph Mary Plunkett, Michael O’Hanrahan and William Pearse

May 5, 1916: John MacBride

May 5, 1981:Bobby Sands

May 8, 1916:Eamonn Ceannt, Edward Daly, Sean Heuston and Michael Mallin

May 9, 1916: Thomas Kent

May 12, 1916: James Connolly, Sean MacDiarmada

May 12, 1981: Francis Hughes

May 21, 1981: Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara

July 8, 1981: Joe McDonnell

July 13, 1981: Martin Hurson

August 1, 1981: Kevin Lynch

August 2, 1981: Kieran Doherty

August 3, 1916: Roger Casement

August 8, 1981: Thomas McElwee

August 20, 1981: Michael Devine

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