Well done to all our pupil's who looked and sounded great in today's parade.
Best of luck to St. Joseph's today especially our past pupils Eoin Beirne, Conor O'Donohue, Conor O'Toole, Matthew Lenehan and Patrick Goldrick as they take on Gael Choláiste Reachrann of Dublin in the All Ireland Final.
It was the perfect Spring morning. The sun shone and a light breeze swirled around the school yard. Pupils, teachers, parents, grandparents and members of the school community gathered to watch the tricolour being raised over the school for the first time.
Special guests on the day were Val Lenehan, Mayor of Charlestown, Fr Johnston, Chairperson of the Board of Management, Fr J Doherty, Michael Finn, Ballyhaunis (son of the late Commandant Patrick Finn, Carn), Gerry Murray MCC, Ciara Marren (cousin of the late Martin Murphy featured in a previous post below) , Mae Kelly, daughter in law of the late Patrick and Nora Kelly,Eileen O Brien representing her late father Thomas O Brien and Joe Mc Donnell (cousin of the late John Colleran) . Pat Collins , Cloonlyon NS Principal represented his late uncle Michael Collins of Charlestown.
After a brief welcome by school principal Pat Collins, the pupils read their proclamation for 2016, a rewording of the 1916 Proclamation for a modern age. As the tricolour was being raised a section of the school band played Amhran na bhFiann while pupils sang the National Anthem and Ireland's Call.
The school had a unique collection of medals given to people from the area who had taken part in the fight for Irish freedom. There were service medals presented to John Colleran, Michael Collins, Patrick Finn and Martin Murphy. Nora Kelly received a medal as a member of Cumann na mBan and a medal related to the 1966 celebrations. Martin Murphys second medal was presented to him as part of the GPO battalion during Easter Week 1916.
Thanks to all who helped make the day such a memorable occasion.
A chance visit to Cloonlyon NS on 9th March 2016 by the grandchildren of former principal John Murphy has had a most unexpected outcome. The Harford family had come to see the records of their grandfather/great grandfather who was principal of the school from 1905 until 1934. John was origionally a native of Drimbane, Curry, Co Sligo but later lived in Main Street, Charlestown.
By co-incidence they discovered that their granduncle, Martin Murphy, taught along side his brother John in the school in the period between 1909 and 1910.
Martin was a member of the IRB and participated in the 1916 Easter Rising. He fought in the GPO before being captured in Moore Street after the GPO was evacuated. He was imprisoned and sent to the Frongoch prison camp in Wales where he remained from April until December 1916. His brother John visited him there over that period.
He rejoined the Irish Volunteers upon moving to South Sligo where he assisted in organising the Cashel Company. He acted as Secretary of Cashel Sinn Féin Cumann.
He was involved in collecting funds, the anti-conscription campaign and also took part in the 1918 general election work. He was appointed treasurer of the Republican Prisoners' Dependents Fund. Murphy emigrated to the United States in 1920. Many years later he returned to his home in Curry where he lived until his death in 1961. He is buried in Rhue graveyard, near Tubbercurry, Co Sligo.
Martin's 1916 medal is very rare as only very few of the Irish Volunteers served in the GPO and thereby received this medal.