The Templedouglas Commemoration Committee set up in 2009 to commemorate local republicans buried in Templedouglas Graveyard in Donegal is holding their second annual commemoration on Sunday the 30th May at 4-30pm.
The commemoration parade will assemble at Byrnes Bar Car Park and march to Templedouglas graveyard where Cumann Na Mban member Nellie Kelly and Vol. Daniel Harkin are buried.
Nellie Kelly was one of eight children, three boys and five girls. She was born in 1885, the daughter of a school teacher in Ballystrang. She trained as a nurse and worked in Peemount Hospital. While there she was an intelligent officer for Cumann Na mBán.
Her activities included running field hospitals at Glenveagh during the Civil War. She was also involved in holding up trains at Convoy and Foxhall Stations and spent time in Buncrana Prison. Nellie Kelly died in 1927 age 42 as a result of the terrible conditions she had to endure during the troubles.
Vol. Daniel Harkin was born in 1900 and as a youth became a member of Na Fianna Eireann. In 1917 he became a member of the Irish Republican Army and four years later he was promoted to Lieutenant and placed in command of the Ballyconnelly Division.
He took the Republican side in the civil war. Rockhill and Ballymacool House were used as the local Headquarters for the republican side and during an attack on June 29th 1922 Lieutenant Daniel Harkin was shot and seriously wounded. He died in Lifford hospital a short time later on the 28th July 1922.
Belfast republican and Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly spoke at last years commemoration speaking about the two republican volunteers buried in Templedouglas he said:
“The courage and commitment of the two Volunteers that we are gathered here today to commemorate were an inspiration to others who followed them in the quest for a United and Free Ireland, the guiding principles for Nellie and Dan were enshrined in the Proclamation of 1916 and these principles are still as relevant today as they were then 93 years ago. The battle to implement those ideals is still very much alive and well today.
“Sinn Fein is the only party that still adheres to those principles, for far too long now we have seen the deterioration of rural Ireland in places like this we can see quite clearly the neglect of previous governments to rural areas like Churchill, Glenswilly and Kilmacrennan, closure of Garda Barracks, local Post Office’s, doctor surgeries and the lack of investment in our Roads and Broadband not the mention the effect of Government policy on small farmers.
This year’s commemoration will be addressed by Francie Brolly Sinn Fein MLA from North Derry. Francie has strong family ties with the Glenswilly area and when asked to be the main speaker he said he was really delighted and honoured to be asked to give the oration.
Organisers are asking that people to make a special effort to attend this year’s commemoration. Bands will be in attendance with Music and light refreshments in Byrnes Pub after the parade.