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05 Dec 2021

Jack the Master's 100th anniversary is commemorated in Tipperary

Events take place in Drombane and Kilvalure Cemetery to mark 100 years since his death

A commemoration of Irish Volunteer Jack “the Master” Ryan was held on Tuesday, October 12.
The memorial mass took place at the St Mary’s Church, Drombane and was led by Fr Tony Ryan and Fr Phil Barry, cousins of the Ryan Masters.
Members of Jack’s family were in attendance, including his nephew Timmy Ryan and niece Breda Dunne. Other family representatives, including the Delahunty, Dwyer and McCooles were also present in great numbers as were representatives of families of the three Tipperary Brigades.
Sheila O’Dwyer and Cabragh Wetlands Choir performed ecclesiastical and traditional pieces at the service.
Following the mass, a dignified procession left the church singing the Volunteer’s Slow Funeral March- “Wrap the green flag round me boys.”
A gathering led by Piper Gerry Neville led the procession to Kilvalure cemetery where Eileen Ryan chaired proceedings..
Jack the Master was an Irish Volunteer who fought during the War of Independence. He died in 1921 at the age of 21 in Cashel hospital from pneumonia and cardiac failure.
At the commemoration, Timmy Ryan laid a tray with Jack’s Comhrac medal, his photo and his “Peter the Painter” Mauser pistol.
The commemoration was attended by Tipperary County Council Cathaoirleach Marie Murphy and the Third Brigade Old I.R.A Commemoration Committee.
Representatives from the Irish Volunteers, the Third Battalion, and Cumann na mBan were also in attendance.
At the gathering, the Third Tipperary Brigade Committee displayed their banner and flags, including that of Cumann na mBan.
Joseph O’Keeffe, Glenough, son of the late Con O'Keeffe ( one of the most active volunteers in the Rossmore company) read out the names of the Volunteers of the D company, and Timmy Ryan recited a decade of the Rosary for Jack and his comrades.
Cllr Murphy represented her great-aunt Bridget Fitzpatrick of Cumann na mBan and her husband Colonel Jerry Ryan, Mid Tipperary Brigade.
Mr Ryan laid wreaths on behalf of the Ryan Master family and Mr O’Keefe on behalf of the Third Battalion and Cumann na mBan.
Pat English laid a wreath on behalf of the Third Tipperary Brigade Old I.R.A Commemoration Committee.
Paudie Taylor read the proclamation, and Eamon and Jerry Ryan (Cooper) recited the poem Turraheen - they are grand nephews of Vice O/C Ned O'Reilly, 3rd Batallion.
Kevin O’Reilly delivered the oration for which he received a standing ovation.
Sheila O’Dwyer and Liam O’Neil played the Centenary March as a final tribute to Jack. The Last Post was sounded, and Piper Gerry Neville rendered Amhran na bhFiann.
It was a colourful and dignified ceremony. Apart from many members of the Ryan (Master) family and their friends and neighbours, the occasion was graced by Cllr. Marie Murphy, Cathaoirleach Tipperary Co. Council. Cllr. R. Kennedy also attended. Besides relations of the Rossmore Company, other elements of the Brigade were well represented.
Those not mentioned previously included Bernie O Doherty, grandniece of Dan Breen, Brigade QM, Seán Ó Duibhir, nephew of Tadg Dwyer, OC Third Battalion, and T. J. Ryan (L), son of John C. Ryan (L), QM Third Battalion. Kathleen Allas Cleary, cousin of Sean Treacy was also present. All the officers and many members of the Third Tipperary Brigade Old IRA Commemoration Committee were also in attendance.
It is absolutely imperative that we keep the memory of men like Jack the Master evergreen. They suffered, sacrificed, and risked life itself in the noble cause of Irish freedom. Ninety five South Tipperary Volunteers paid the ultimate sacrifices of their young lives establishing and defending the Irish Republic which had been proclaimed by Padraic Pearse on Easter Monday,1916.

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