Hundreds gather for Republican Derry Volunteers dinner dance

The families of Derry Volunteers with special commemorations presented to them during the event. (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)
The families of Derry Volunteers with special commemorations presented to them during the event. (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Almost 500 local people have attended an annual Derry Volunteers dinner dance held in memory of those who have died locally during the Republican struggle.

This year’s dance was staged last Saturday night as part of a series of events to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Sinn Fein Deputy President Mary Lou McDonald TD pictured with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Andrew McCartney, who co-chaired the event alongside Mary-Lou McDonald.  (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Sinn Fein Deputy President Mary Lou McDonald TD pictured with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Andrew McCartney, who co-chaired the event alongside Mary-Lou McDonald. (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Speaking about the event Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said: “This was part of our series of events throughout this 1916 Centenary year and was a fitting and very dignified tribute to our fallen comrades.

“Almost 500 local republicans packed into the Inishowen Gateway Hotel in Buncrana to honour our patriot dead.

“It was very heartening to see so many of the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for Irish freedom from 1916 right through to our fallen Volunteers in the most recent phase of our struggle.”

Specially commissioned presentations were made to each of the families to reflect the sacrifice of their loved ones and mark the centenary year during the event.

Foyle MEP Martin Anderson with relatives of deceased Volunteers.  (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Foyle MEP Martin Anderson with relatives of deceased Volunteers. (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Mr McCartney said: “The guest speaker on the night was Sinn Féin vice-president Mary Lou MacDonald TD, who summed up for many what has been both an historic and a magnificent year of remembrance with imagination, colour and great pride.

“Mary Lou got a surprise herself on the night when she was awarded the honouree at the annual dinner.

“We would like to thank everyone who has participated in all 1916 commemoration events, large and small, throughout the year.”

Mr McCartney said there was a part to play “for all of us” to complete the work of the “men and women of 1916 and the generations which followed in creating an island true to the vision of the Proclamation and worthy of their sacrifice”.

Joe Dunn, who read out the names of the 1916 leaders who were executed and people who died from 1916 to the present struggle, Edwina Rodgers, who read out the Derry Brigade Roll of Honour, Richie Harkin, who sang Grace and A Nation Once Again, Tiarnan Oh�ighnigh who read out the Proclamation,   Sarah Griffin,  who sang Amhr�n na bhFiann. (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Joe Dunn, who read out the names of the 1916 leaders who were executed and people who died from 1916 to the present struggle, Edwina Rodgers, who read out the Derry Brigade Roll of Honour, Richie Harkin, who sang Grace and A Nation Once Again, Tiarnan Oh�ighnigh who read out the Proclamation, Sarah Griffin, who sang Amhr�n na bhFiann. (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)