Belfast Telegraph

Relatives lay wreaths as Ulster soldiers killed during the Easter Rising are honoured in Dublin

By Ivan Little

They were the forgotten victims of the Easter Rising, but now Ulster-born members of the British Army who were killed in Dublin in 1916 have been honoured at a series of ceremonies in the Republic organised by relatives and ex-servicemen's organisations from Northern Ireland.

Two bus-loads of people, including members of the Royal British Legion and a flute band, travelled to the Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin for yesterday's wreath-laying service at the graves of soldiers who died during the fighting.

A total of 31 Irish servicemen were among 120 British soldiers who were killed in Dublin 100 years ago.

Tribute organiser Bobby Cosgrove, from east Belfast, said: "They were Irish soldiers who were killed in their own capital city by fellow Irishmen in the name of Irish freedom.

"Seven of the Irish soldiers who died in British Army uniforms were from the province of Ulster."

Mr Cosgrove said he initially thought only two men from Ulster had been killed, but after further research he discovered there were seven.

He explained that four were members of the Royal Irish Rifles, two were from the Royal Irish Fusiliers and one was with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

The soldiers killed during the Rising included James McCullough, from Donaghadee, whose granddaughters, Alison Cruths and Irene Moore, and great great grandson, Henry Moore, attended the ceremony and laid a wreath along with a photo of him on his grave.

Rifleman McCullough's son, also called James, was killed in action in France during the First World War.

Another soldier, Alexander 'Sandy' McClelland, who was from Kircubbin, had been about to board a ferry for France to fight in the war when he was called back to deal with the Rising. He was shot dead in Dublin not long afterwards.

The other five Ulster soldiers who died during the Dublin clashes were: John Hanna, from Downpatrick; Joseph Cullen and Nathaniel Morton, from the Shankill Road in Belfast; John Thompson, from Macken in County Fermanagh; and James Howard Calvert, from Lurgan.

Four of these victims of the Rising were buried at Grangegorman, and the other three were laid to rest in cemeteries near their homes.

During his research, Mr Cosgrove also discovered that another grave at Grangegorman was the final resting place of Ulster soldier George Hamilton, from Newtownards, who died in Dublin in 1915 from injuries he sustained during the First World War.

Yesterday's service at Grangegorman was conducted by Protestant and Catholic clergy from Dublin, and PUP councillor Dr John Kyle was among the visitors, who also included members of Somme associations, the Orange Order and historical societies from north Down.

Belfast Telegraph


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