First shots of the Irish war of independence commemorated in Tipperary where they were fired
Monday marks the centenary of the Soloheadbeg Ambush, believed to be the first action of the War of Independence.
The first shots of Ireland’s war of independence have been commemorated a century on where they were fired.
The Soloheadbeg Ambush took place in Co Tipperary on January 21 1919.
Royal Irish Constabulary officers James McDonnell and Patrick O’Connell were killed by members of the Third Tipperary Brigade of the IRA in the incident close to Limerick Junction.
On Sunday, almost 100 years later, relatives of all involved and those who died, gathered together to mark the date.
Laying a wreath on behalf of the Government at the site of the Soloheadbeg Ambush Memorial, in remembrance of all who suffered and who lost their lives during the struggle for Independence.— ⚖️Josepha Madigan (@josephamadigan) January 20, 2019
Suaimhneas síoraí dá n-anamacha uile pic.twitter.com/v5ZRsuNscF
A mass of remembrance was celebrated by the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Kieran O’Reilly, at Solohead church.
A formal commemoration followed at the Soloheadbeg Ambush Memorial during which Culture Minister Josepha Madigan laid a wreath on behalf of the government.
Ms Madigan said it was a great honour to be at Soloheadbeg, and described it as a “deeply moving event”.
“We are no longer at war with our past. We can commemorate it in its entirety. We can honour all those who fought, without forgetting those who died, because we live in an Irish Republic that cherishes all its political traditions. “— ⚖️Josepha Madigan (@josephamadigan) January 20, 2019
Speaking at #Soloheadbeg pic.twitter.com/f4g1F6pMkd
“We are no longer at war with our past,” she told those gathered.
“We can commemorate it in its entirety.
“We can honour all those who fought, without forgetting those who died, because we live in an Irish Republic that cherishes all its political traditions.”
Monday will also mark the centenary of the first sitting of Dail Eireann.
An event will take place at the Mansion House in Dublin, where it the first sitting took place on January 21 1919 to mark the 100th anniversary.
Irish President Michael D Higgins will deliver the keynote address.
The Irish war of independence raged for two years until 1921, after which the southern 26 counties of Ireland became independent of the United Kingdom.
The Irish Free State was established in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
Ireland went on to become a Republic in 1949.