O'Connell Tower opens

13 April 2018: anniversary of Catholic Emancipation, 13 April 1829.

O'Connell School had a significant presence in Glasnevin today at the formal opening of the O'Connell Tower. (O'Connell Christian Brothers School, funded by the Catholic Association of Daniel O'Connell, was founded in 1828 by Edmund Ignatius Rice).The stairs in the Glasnevin tower were blown up in 1971 and have now been replaced, giving access to the highest vantage point in Dublin, with view as far as the Mourne Mountains and the Hills of Wales.

Tony Connellan, President OCS PPU, Lynn Kidney, OCS Vice Principal, Br. Pat, and Three OCS Students. In between Ms Kidney and Br Pat, we can see past pupil Richard Murphy (1951 Leaving Cert). The students left a Time Capsule in  the Tower, and Ms Kidney made an inspirational speech at the opening. Gerry Rowley of Scoil Ui Chonaill was also present.

Assembling for the speeches

Geoffrey Donaldson, of the DUP, (dark haired) and John Green of Glasnevin Trust (white haired), to the right of the podium listen attentively to Lynn's speech. Donaldson was clearly impressed by Daniel O'Connell's philosophy and achievements, as recounted by Lynn.
Speeches over, head for the Crypt (Chairman of Glasnevin Trust. John Green, Minister for finance, Paschal Donohoe, Geoffrey Donaldson of DUP and Commissioner of Public Works, John McMahon)

Going down the stairs for the formal opening by Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe.

Commissioner John McMahon, Geoffrey Donaldson, Paschal Donohoe and John Green, at the crypt ready to cut the tape.
Prof. Tommie Cooke and Proinnsias Ó Cillín, (author of this blog)

Bertie Ahern and Martin Mansergh 

I take time for a prayer at Kevin Neligan's parents' grave (about half-way between Collins and de Valera). Of course, Kevin is  buried on the south side of Dublin, where he lived with his family. Mrs Neligan had a shop on Connaught Street, and I worked there for a few weeks as shop assistant while waiting for the Leaving Cert results.
The bookshop, restaurant, museum and reception area (where the Invincibles launched our record Graves of Glasnevin)
View of cemetery from Museum/ reception area

Another view from the reception area

View of Clareville Park from the reception area. In 1980 I was chairman of Claremont Residents Association, when we won the Dublin Tidy Areas Competition. I invited the other residents associations of Glasnevin and Phibsboro to  form the Finglas Road Action Group. We had in mind many things which were outside our compass, including the development of the cemetery as a national treasure, the refurbishment of the Botanic Gardens and the improvement of the Royal Canal. Our focus was in the fourteen acres across the road from the main entrance to the cemetery, and negotiated the present development: an attractive park, ringed by attractive public housing, an area of sheltered accommodation (Clareville Court) and Clareville Day Centre. The park complements the cemetery.

Here I am, back in 1980, being introduced by PRO, Bill Hyland. Bertie Ahern is on the right. We found he had a similar list of wonderful objectives as our selves: but he actually achieved these things. Also in the photo is Nurse Helen Feeney (extreme left), who was subsequently murdered in Saudi Arabia, and committee member Marilyn Stewart.

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