50th Anniversary of the Rising Commemorated in Letterkenny
As today marks Proclamation Day throughout the country and the full list of centenary commemorations are about to begin in earnest, we take a quick look back to see how the 50th anniversary of the Rising was marked locally in 1966.
Highlight of the week was no doubt on the Wednesday of Easter Week when a special concert was held in the Fiesta Ballroom with special guest speaker Maj. Gen. Joseph Sweeney, the only known Donegal man to have taken part in the Rising.
Guest speakers at the event included Dr. J.P. McGinley, Chairman of the Sinn Féin Club in the town established in 1917, Bishop McFeely and Fr. Tommy Doherty who recited his poem “Willie Boyle’s Backyard”.
Amongst the many performers that took part, celebrated local tenor Dan McTeague sang songs as did the Presentation Boys Choir while “veterans of the fight for independence, members of the Old IRA and Cumann na mBan, all wearing service medals, occupied seats of honour at the top of the hall.” The proclamation was read by Miss Naoimh Williams from Letterkenny.