Thurles Garden of Remembrance where the memorial was erected
This week I would like to tell you the story about our first memorial erected in St Mary's Garden of Remembrance.
The idea came to me when I was visiting the Vietnam Memorial in The State Capitol Washington. I was very impressed with the idea of how all who served and died in that war were remembered with such pride and dignity on a very long wall of remembrance.
I at that moment made up my mind on return home I would put it to our committee that we would erect a memorial to all Thurles men who died in the Great War, the 1914-1918 First world War.
We the Committee decided that we would erect a fitting memorial to all our great Thurles men who died in that war who up to that moment in time had been forgotten. Their names were never mentioned - it was taboo even to talk about them.
But now that was all about to change, we must never forget our history but always remember it with pride and dignity. But we must move on if we are to progress and be happy in what we achieve in going forward.
The first part of our project was to contact Thurles Town Council for permission which we got, then it was all research to find out how many Thurles men died in that war. There were long hours of researching but it was now known that 72 men from the town of Thurles died.
We then had talks with the Town Council and the Church body for permission to erect the Memorial in St Mary's Cemetery which we got.
Work started on the site which at the time was over grown with rubbish piled high all along the butt of the wall and the wall was over grown with ivy.
The late Toss Bulger and Pa Joe Forestall were responsible for the stone work and Mr. James Slattery Monumental Works for the five lime stone plaques.
The project was sponsored by Thurles Tidy Towns and the millennium committee. The memorial erected and the garden of remembrance was officially opened on Remembrance Sunday November 11, 2000 by the then Minister for Defence Mr Michael Smith T.D.
The names of our 72 brave Thurles men engraved in stone will never be forgotten and will always be part of our local and national history.
Let us remember with pride and dignity John Anderson, John Beirne, Patrick Bermingham, James Bourke, John Brett, John Butler , Patrick Byrne, Martin Carroll, Thomas Carroll, John Carty, John Cassidy, Joseph Cleary, Patrick Cleary, Thomas Cleary, Edward Coady, Joseph Coady, Richard Coady, Michael Coffey, David Cooney, John Cummins, Denis Conway, John Cunningham V.C, Patrick Cunningham, Oliver Cusack, Patrick Dea, Cornelius O Dwyer, Martin Egan, Joseph Fitzpatrick, Patrick Gouldsborogh, Thomas Griffin, Martin Hackett, Daniel Hanrahan, Daniel Hayes, Thomas Hayes, Thomas Hennessy, Joseph Horan, Denis Jordan, James Kelly, William Kelly, Matthew Kennedy, Owen Kiely, Joseph Lawyer, Frank Maher, James Maher, John Maher, Francis McCormack, Thomas McCormack.