Kilfinane War of Independence hero Sean O’Riordan will be among those remembered at the Sraharla-Kilclooney Commemoration on this Easter Sunday.

Capt. Séan O’Riordan, who is named on the Sraharla monument, was shot during the ‘Cross of the Tree’ ambush in December 1920. Séan had served in WW1 and on his return after the war had joined the local volunteers. While in the British Army he proved himself to be an outstanding sharpshooter. He sacrificed his own life during the ambush in order to save his own men. He held back over fifty British soldiers single-handedly with his sharp-shooting during the ambush. By doing so, he allowed sufficient time for his own men to escape through the fields. When eventually Séan himself began to retreat he was shot in the stomach. He managed to escape but died agonisingly, 36 hours later, from wound infection. He was buried secretly at night in Darragh Cemetery, in order to conceal from enemy forces his eventual fate.

Sunday’s ceremony, which commences at 2.30pm, will also include the unveiling of the newly constructed Peter O’Neill-Crowley Viewing Station in Kilclooney by Minister for Trade and Enterprise, Séan Sherlock TD.

Easter Sunday 31st March this year is a very significant day, historically, in Sraharla-Kilclooney. The Fenian leader Peter O’Neill-Crowley was shot dead on Sunday 31st March 1867. This year, the 31st March falls on a Sunday and will not do so again until a number of years after the 150th anniversary of the Fenian Rising, in 2017.

The ceremony will commence with a parade led by the Thomas Kent Band starting at Ahaphuca at 2.30 pm, stopping at ‘War of Independence’ monument at Sraharla where a decade of the rosary will be recited and wreaths will be laid in memory of the six Irish Volunteers, named on that monument, who sacrificed their young lives in the cause of Irish freedom. The parade will then continue on to Kilclooney where Minister Sherlock will unveil the newly constructed Viewing Station.

Everyone is invited on Easter Sunday to pay their respect and show their support to the family descendants of the martyred men.