Last Saturday Iarnród Éireann hosted a special event at Clarke Station Dundalk in remembrance of Thomas Clarke, the first to sign the 1916 Easter Rising Proclamation.
On the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1966 all the main rail stations in the country were renamed after the signatories of the proclamation and Dundalk was renamed in honour of the most senior irish volunteer, Thomas Clarke.
Anthony Monaghan, station Master, welcomed the attendance on Saturday that included Helen Litton, great niece of Kathleen Daly, wife of Thomas Clarke, who spoke about the life of Thomas Clarke and the events that led up to the 1916 Rising. Ms Litton also laid a wreath in memory of Thomas Clarke..
Cllr Peter Savage, Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, also attended and gave an address.
Chief executive Louth County Council, Joan Martin, council senior executive officer Paddy Donnelly, Cllr Conor Keelan, Deputy Gerry Adams, Paddy Malone Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, and Ruth Hegarty from the Royal Irish Academy, were among attendance.
Mr Monaghan thanked Louth County Council for the “fantastic work it has done both here and elsewhere during the 2016 Centenary Programme including the park at the Fairgreen. He also thanked Iarnrod Eireann, the Royal Irish Academy for the specially commissioned portrait of Thomas Clarke, Louth Historical Society, the corporate communications staff of Iarnród Éireann and the staff at Dundalk station.
And towards the end of the proceedings his Dad played Amhrán na bhFiann on the accordion.
The Thomas Clarke Centenary Garden was officially opened at the Fairgreen Dundalk last Thursday, by the chair of the Dundalk Municipal District Cllr Maria Doyle and Mr Willie Duffy chair of Dundalk Tidy towns.
Mr Duffy said the garden includes a time capsule containing proclamations written by children describing how they would like to see Ireland develop in the future.
He welcomed Helen Litton, great niece of Kathleen Daly, wife of Thomas Clarke and thanked the choir and orchestra of Colaiste Ris, the FÁS team, “without them the garden would not be possible”, Mary Caplis, Louth County Council, Colin Matthews engineer, Benedicta McArdle, Louth County council outdoor staff, the Gateway team for all their magnificent work.
Cllr Doyle said the garden was a superb addition to the range of history-based activities and initiatives created by Louth County Council as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.