The unveiling of a statue of Thomas Ashe in Lusk last Saturday was the highlight of a day of celebrations on the centenary of his funeral in 1917.
Ashe, a proud Kerry native from Lispole, was principal at Corduff National School. He founded the award-winning Black Raven Pipe Band, as well as Round Towers GAA club in 1906.
The day started with wreath laying ceremony at Corduff NS, followed by a march to Round Towers GAA Club, where juvenile team matches were held.
There was also a senior match between Round Towers and the Ashe team, wearing the colours of Lispole. Michael Collins’ famous armoured vehicle, Sliabh na mBan made an appearance and garnered much attention from all present.
A parade by the Fingal Old IRA Commemorative Society, accompanied by the Black Raven Pipe Band preceded the unveiling of the beautiful statue of Ashe, which was commissioned by local artist, Paul D’Arcy.
Also present on the day were members of the Ashe family, including his niece, Eileen Quinn, who spoke very eloquently about her famous uncle. Also present at the unveiling were Fianna Fail TD, Eamon O’Cuiv, a grandson of Eamon de Valera, who was one of the main speakers.
Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mary McCamley performed the unveiling ceremony before a very large crowd in glorious autumn sunshine.
After the unveiling, there was a historical talk by Maurice O’Keeffe called Thomas Ashe, A Life Given for Ireland.
This was followed by Irish Dancing by Scoil Rince Fingal and a final historical talk by Aidan Arnold called Thomas Ashe – The Lusk Connection, which rounded off a wonderful day for the people of Lusk.