Ballygar 1921 Remembrance Committee

By Paul Connolly

Courtesy of Paul Connolly
Courtesy of Paul Connolly

In the Spring of 2016, a group of local people in the Ballygar area of Co. Galway, decided something should be done locally to commemorate the 1916 rising. Although no one locally was directly involved in the rising it was to have a profound effect on the area, and resulted in a swell of support for repblicanism locally. Ballygar would go on to play an active part in the revolutionary years that followed. The 1916 commemoration event in Ballygar took place on April 24th, 2016, and was a resounding success.

In early 2021 members of the original 1916 committee decided that another event should take place in Ballygar to commemorate all the activity that took place locally in 1921, during the War of Independence. A meeting was called in Ballygar and a new committee was set up to organise a 1921 centenary commemoration event in the town. The committee elected was: Pat Roche, Chairman; Sean Nolan, Vice Chairman; Michael Nolan, Secretary; Frank Coyne, Treasurer and Paul Connolly, PRO/Historian. The group began to plan a day of commemoration and decided to include a reenactment of an ambush that took place in Ballygar on July 1st 1921. The Ahascragh Centenary Group agreed to take part in this reenactment. An enromous amount of work went into organising the day of commemoration and members of Ballygar Tidy Towns helped out with various aspects of the planning. A date was set for 12th September 2021 at 12pm and a pregramme of events was decided upon. The ambush reenactment location was carefully planned, with imput and direction given by Garda Pat Regan, safety of all participants and members of the public was paramount. A photographic display was also muted and Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer with Galway Co, Council, greatly assisted the group to get this off the ground. Six large pull-up banners were produced and these were funded through the Commemoration Unit, Department of Tourism, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries programme and Galway Co. Council. Six different  A5 sized commemorative postcards were also produced and paid for under the same programme. The 1921 Commemoration event took place on one of the nicest days of the year, the sun shone throughout and a large crowd turned out on the day. It turned out to be a huge success and everyone in attendance enjoyed the parades, historical talks, the reenactment and formal ceremony.

The chairman of the Ballygar 1921 Committee set up a Facebook page and this has proved very popular, particularly within the diaspora around the world. The group achieved all the goals and objectives set out at their first meeting and the positive reaction within the locality ensured the day of commemoration was a great success.

This page was added on 22/09/2021.

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