We are assembled here to pay a long delayed tribute to the memory of our comrade Richard O’Carroll who made the supreme sacrifice during historic Easter Rising, 1916.
The Scriptures say: ‘Greater love than this no man hath’… and I can assure that no more willing a sacrifice was made during the memorable episode of our country’s history than that of our friend. Of him the poet might truly have written:
“He loved his country and served his kind’
In the intervening years, during which the struggle for Irish freedom has been waged, well deserved tributes have been paid to the memory of other outstanding personalities who nobly played their part in the struggle and whose names are indelibly stamped in the history of our times. It is fitting that we, even at this belated hour, should unveil an enduring monument to our departed comrade.
On a similar occasion to this, Commandant Patrick Pearse addressed an assembly by the graveside of O’Donovan Rossa exclaimed:
“The fools, the fools, they have left us our Fenian Dead’
This stone marks the last resting place of an unrepentant Fenian, unrepentant in the sense that he never regretted any action of his done in the cause of Irish Freedom and the emancipation of his class and it was characteristic of the man that he should meet his death at the hands of the English garrison while defending an outpost to which he had been assigned by his superior officers of the IRA.
The circumstances attending his death may not be generally known to the present generation. It may well be to recall that on the outbreak of hostilities on Easter Monday 1916, he was assigned to an outpost at Messrs. Delahunt, Camden St. Another party occupied Messrs. Byrne’s premises on the opposite of the street. Their duty was to defend the line of approach from Portobello Barracks to Jacob’s factory.
On the approach of the British forces to the position held by O’Carroll and his men and bloody encounter took place. Eventually both outpost were taken. One of the Volunteers captured on Byrne’s premises was shot in the public Street:
O’Carroll on being captured, was taken to the rear of the premises and shot in cold blood.
Thus, facing an English rifle he gave his life in order that the people of Ireland might work out their own destiny untrammelled by any foreign poser. Ar Deis Dé go raibh an anam.
It is our sincere wish that this Cross which marks the last resting place of Dick O’Carroll, may serve as an inspiration to this and future generations of Irishmen to continue the struggle until this country is as free as he and his comrades in arms wished it.
In the realm of politics it is not unusual to capitalise the value of the name and fame of the illustrious dead, their names invoked when seeking the votes of the electorate and it is made to appear as if they would endorse the policies of the different parties. The whole tendency of modern politics is to ignore the ideals of Connolly, O’Carroll, Macken, Partridge and a host of others, who made the supreme sacrifice. We know that they did not die in order to change the seat of Government from London to Dublin. They died so that the people of this country could live a fuller and free life, assured of a living in the land that gave them birth. Their hopes and ambitions are enshrined in the Proclamation of Easter Week 1916.
The Graveside Oration delivered by Mr. James Litholder General President of the Ancient Guild of the Brick and Stone layers Union on the occasion of the erection of the Celtic cross created in the name of Richard O’Carroll November 1935. The graveside ceremony was attended by a large number of AGBSU members and representatives from other Trades Unions.