Letter from Frank Fahy to Messrs. O’Brien & Son, 29 May 1935, regarding Seán Flood Memorial.

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Frank Fahy, wrote this letter to Messrs. O’Brien & Son, sculptors and limestone quarries, on 29 May 1935, to discuss proceeding with the project to create a memorial monument for Seán Flood’s grave.   The letter reads:

“A Chara,

I have been requested by the secretary of the Seán Flood Memorial Committee to write to you in connection with the stones ordered for the memorial.

It has been suggested to me that, as the Members of the Committee are personally unknown to you, it might expedite matters if I wrote to you as to the Committee’s financial position. I know many of the Members of the Committee, can answer for their financial statues and integrity, and am aware that they have sufficient money in hands to justify them in proceeding with the project.

Mise le meas,

Frank Fahy

(Ceann Comhairle)”

Fahy was a Teachta Dála for Galway and served as the Ceann Comhairle, or chairman, of Dáil Éireann from 1932-1951. He had served as Captain of C Company in the 1st Dublin Battalion, occupying the Four Courts, during the Easter Rising. He was imprisoned after the Rising for his role in the rebellion. Seán Flood had also fought with the garrison stationed at the Four Courts and was a comrade of Fahy’s, so this may explain why Fahy was personally reaching out to the sculptors to push forward the project for Flood’s memorial. Flood fought in the Irish War of Independence and Irish Civil War. According to the 1916 relative’s webpage, Flood was arrested by police in Northern Ireland in July 1922, and was imprisoned in Peterhead prison in Scotland.[1] The House of Commons debates from 3 March 1925, discussed the status of Irish prisoners still being held and Flood is mentioned as having been arrested for “Felonious Possession of firearms, etc.”[2] Flood was released from prison around April 1926, but was in poor health due to the poor conditions and treatment he endured. Flood died on 29th November 1929, and was buried in Kilbarrack Cemetery. This letter is likely in relation to the memorial monument that now sits over Flood’s grave in Kilbarrack Cemetary. The monument memorializes Seán Flood, along with his brother, Frank Flood, who was executed in MountJoy Jail during the Irish War of Independence. Fahy’s letter in regards to this monument shows the efforts that many former IRA members and local community members exerted to ensure that former comrades and relatives were remembered. The state commemorations have largely always focused on the big names of the Revolution, while the local groups have been key to ensuring the common soldiers are memorialized and remembered. As we move through the remaining years of the Decade of Centenaries and commemorate the events of the Irish War of Independence and Civil War, we must strive to remember the common soldiers alongside their leaders, so that we do not lose sight of the common, local level, experiences of the Revolution.

Notes:

[1] https://www.1916relatives.com/four-courts

[2] http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1925/mar/03/irish-prisoners

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