By John J Hassett
A son of Bansha Kilmoyler, Joseph O Connor, was one of seven soldiers of the Irish Republican Army executed by firing squad in the Curragh by Free State forces on the morning of December 19th 1922 during the tragic Civil War, and buried in Grey Abbey close to Kildare town. On this Sunday October 16th 2011 at 2 pm a monument will be unveiled to his memory by Sally Ryan Chairperson Third Tipperary Brigade Old IRA Commemoration Committee, followed by an oration by John J Hassett President Irish Bardic Federation.
The historic occasion will recall one of the many sons of gallant Tipperary, who committed their young lives to the noble cause of Irish freedom in its totality. The late Joseph O Connor has a number of relatives residing locally among them Willie Black of Bansha Kilmoyler. The tragic Civil War and its victims on both sides, remind us of the wisdom of working together as a people for the common good, and the national interest.
Joseph O Connor and his six comrades faced the firing squads that brisk December morning with a prayer on their lips to their God for Ireland and their relatives. They deserve our remembrance and recognition as brave soldiers of Ireland.