Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

Republican leader remembered in Carlow

ON Sunday, June 20 the annual Tony Ruane commemoration was held in Carlow.

More than 40 people marched to Tony Ruane’s grave, led by a Colour Party from Wexford, where proceedings were chaired by his granddaughter, Laura Nolan, secretary of the local RSF Cumann. The oration was delivered by Kevin Devlin, Dublin who said:

“It is an honour for me to pay tribute to Tony Ruane, a dedicated and true Republican. No words can properly describe the admiration felt for men and women like Tony, who gave their all for the cause of Irish freedom.

“Tony Ruane joined Na Fianna Éireann as a boy and made the natural progression to the Irish Republican Army. He was active during the War of Independence, including overseas duty in England.

“Taking the Republican side he went to America in the mid-1920s and worked tirelessly with other like-minded men and women to further the Republican Movement through organisation and fund-raising.

“Tony returned to his native country in 1936 and joined the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army, continuing to utilise the organising skills both locally and nationally. In May 1941 he was arrested and spent two years in jail before being interned in the Curragh Concentration Camp until 1945.

“Upon his release Tony reported back for duty, again putting his skills to good use during what was a difficult time for himself and his comrades. In 1966 Tony became National Treasurer of Sinn Féin.

“When the Stickies went by the wayside, Tony continued on the true Republican path, working in Kevin Street and Parnell Square. Many of the people who cane through the doors of Sinn Féin in the 1970s would have met Tony and it’s fair to say, given the level of recruitment at this time, they must have been suitably impressed by the persona of the man.

“Tony Ruane retired as National Treasurer in 1980 but after the Provos’ treachery in 1986, despite ill-health, he returned to help make sure the Republican Movement kept to the path he so firmly believed to be the right one.

“I never met Tony Ruane but those who knew him admired him and speak highly of the dedication and hard work he put in for the cause he held so dear.

“There have been many over the years who have taken the easy road but as Joe McKelvey said and I quote ‘The way to freedom is a hard and bloody one’ and those of us who choose that way take guidance and inspiration from comrades like Tony Ruane. They give us the strength to carry on the struggle for Irish freedom and self-determination.

“We regard our part in that struggle as nothing more than our duty and like Tony Ruane, we carry out that duty for the greater good and not for personal gain or recognition. Those who have gone down the path of furthering their own careers are not true Republicans and are on a road to nowhere!

“Finally, to Tony Ruane’s family, friends and comrades, I hope I have done justice to the man and to the Republican soldier we honour today.

“An Phoblacht Abú!”

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"We of Republican Sinn Féin are the nucleus, which represents what Emmet represented,
the soul of Ireland,the prophetic shock minority, those who are neither purchased nor intimidated."

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