Lorrha civic welcome for Australian dignitary ‘much appreciated’

Cllr Michael O'Meara
Tipperary County Council has been praised for its civic welcome given to Wayne Sanford, president of the Shire of Collie in Western Australia, during his visit to Lorrha at the start of May.

Tipperary County Council has been praised for its civic welcome given to Wayne Sanford, president of the Shire of Collie in Western Australia, during his visit to Lorrha at the start of May.

Cllr Sanford and his wife were in the village to honour local Great War hero Martin O’Meara, who received a Victoria Cross for bravery while serving with the Australian forces in 1916.

“The civic welcome was very much appreciated by the Australians and by the O’Meara family,” local councillor Michael O’Meara told Nenagh Municipal District Council. “It was an excellent PR excercise for this council.”

He said that in an area such as Lorrha there was sometimes the perception that the council was based around Nenagh.

Cllr Ger Darcy said that everybody involved in organising the day had done an “excellent job. We should always take any opportunity to showcase our county and, no doubt, people from Australia will visit.”

Martin O’Meara left Lorrha for Australia in 1913, ending up in Collie. He joined the Australian Imperial Forces in 1915 and was a stretcher bearer at the front at Pozieres in 1916 during the battle of the Somme. Over a three-day period, he braved merciless German artillery fire to rescue at least 25 wounded men.