Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

Frank Driver Commemoration

On Sunday November 8 the Frank Driver Cumann, North Kildare, of Republican Sinn Féin will be holding its annual Frank Driver commemoration in Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare.

Those taking part will assemble at 12.45pm opposite Driver’s cottage in Ballymore Eustace and parade from there to the cemetery.

Leinster Leader, Saturday 14 November 1981:
Frank Driver Passes into Legend

Staunch, lifelong republican, Frank Driver of Ballymore Eustace, who died last week, was given a funeral on Saturday which will live on in memory.

Frank, who had been in poor health in recent years, was in his late seventies. His whole life was devoted to the movement, and his last big public occasion was in June when he laid the Provisional Sinn Féin wreath at Bodenstown.

A most notable feature of his funeral was the presence of over 100 Gardai and detectives including members of the Special Branch. Some took up duty on all approach roads, and scores flanked the cortege and later encircled the hillside cemetery where he was laid to rest.

The late Mr. Driver was a life Vice-President and former member of the Provisional Sinn Féin Árd Comhairle and a former internee at Newbridge and Curragh. The internment followed Mass in irish concelebrated by three priests, Rev. John Dunphy, C.C Ballymore Eustace; Rev. Myles Christy, Francis Street Church, Dublin, formerly of Ballymore and National H-Blocks Committee Chairman, Rev. P. Ó Duill. Peace and justice were highlights of a brief eulogy by Fr. Dunphy.

Five men and two women in black garb flanked the Tricolour draped coffin during the Mass and a lone piper (Jack O’Connor) walked ahead of the cortege playing laments. The coffin was borne over half a mile on the shoulders of Sinn Féin colleagues and friends. Outside his humble home near the church it halted for a brief period as a mark of respect.

The huge Gardai force was directed by Chief Supt. James Murphy from H.Q. in the local station, and only on occasions of Cabinet meetings in nearby Barrettstown Castle has the village seen so much activity and official transport in use.

The attendance included Ruari Ó Brádaigh, President of Provisional Sinn Féin, Daithi ÓConaill, Joe Cahill, Richard Behal, Joe O’Neill, and the former Fianna Fáil Minister, Kevin Boland.

In an oration in Irish and English at the graveside, where prayers were recited in Irish by Fr. Dunphy, assisted by Fr. Christy, Mr. Ó Brádaigh touched on highlights of Mr. Driver’s devotion to the cause of republicanism and described him as a lodestone to whom all supporters could gravitate.

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