Headstones erected at unmarked graves of 1920 Bloody Sunday victims

Headstones erected at unmarked graves of 1920 Bloody Sunday victims

Headstones have been unveiled at the last three unmarked graves of those killed in the 1920 Bloody Sunday shootings at Croke Park.

The GAA organised the commemorative stones in Glasnevin Cemetery on the 99th anniversary of the killings.

Eight of the 14 people killed by British soldiers at the historic GAA ground in Dublin were laid to rest in unmarked graves.

Liam Dineen (second right), from Skerries, at the grave of his great uncle Patrick O’Dowd, during a ceremony at Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)
Liam Dineen (second right), from Skerries, at the grave of his great uncle Patrick O’Dowd, during a ceremony at Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Since 2015 the Bloody Sunday Graves Project has been working with the surviving relatives of these victims to see the graves marked.

On Thursday morning headstones were unveiled for Jerome O’Leary, 10, the youngest of the victims, as well as for labourer Patrick O’Dowd, 57, and former soldier Michael Feery, 40.

On November 21 1920, British soldiers opened fire in Croke Park during a football match between Dublin and Tipperary.

Fourteen were killed and dozens others injured.

Liam Dineen, from Skerries, at the grave of his grand uncle Patrick O’Dowd (Brian Lawless/PA)
Liam Dineen, from Skerries, at the grave of his grand uncle Patrick O’Dowd (Brian Lawless/PA)

It came hours after the killing of 14 men by the IRA in an operation targeting British agents.

Almost a century on, members of the victims’ families were present alongside GAA president John Horan for the unveiling ceremony.

Liam Dineen, a relative of Mr O’Dowd, described the ceremony as poignant and fitting.

His great-uncle is recalled heroically as having helped others escape over a wall before being shot himself.

“We are very proud as a family that his courage is recognised,” he said.

“My aunt always spoke about her dad and the time growing up when she had lost a young brother and lost her father. She always regretted the fact that nothing had been done or said in his memory.

“It gives me a mark of closure for my aunt that at long last her father’s sacrifice has been noted and appreciated.

“So two years ago when the GAA approached me (about installing a headstone), I said ‘of course, I’d be delighted’, I know that it would be a tribute to my aunt as well that this was being done.

“It was very fitting and very appropriate.”

More on this topic

Galway County Board running out of coaches to oversee summer Cúl CampsGalway County Board running out of coaches to oversee summer Cúl Camps

Early Christmas cheer for Munster GAA projects as €1.3m allocated in development grant schemeEarly Christmas cheer for Munster GAA projects as €1.3m allocated in development grant scheme

Flynn: I was giving so much to football I resented it’Flynn: I was giving so much to football I resented it’

Seamus Darby: 'My one regret? I should have retired that night'Seamus Darby: 'My one regret? I should have retired that night'


More in this Section

Man charged over ATM thefts in Co AntrimMan charged over ATM thefts in Co Antrim

589 people are waiting on trolleys589 people are waiting on trolleys

Sports minister open to 'constructive suggestions' over possible FAI splitSports minister open to 'constructive suggestions' over possible FAI split

Three arrested in connection with Lucan murderThree arrested in connection with Lucan murder


Lifestyle

For wine-lovers, a tour of the Rioja region of northern Spain is like a visit to your very own fairytale — but with added wine, writes Anna O’DonoghueSip sip hooray in the capital of Spanish wine Spain’s wine capital

Sorting out Cork people for agesAsk Audrey: Being nice to poor kids is everything that is wrong about Christmas

Ever wondered if liqueurs or drink-laced Christmas puddings might put you over the drink-driving limit? Pat Fitzpatrick picks up a breathalyser and puts six sweet treats to the testDo these boozy treats put you over the drink-driving limit?

Kya deLongchamps investigates the history behind the mythCan you really be arrested for eating a mince pie on Christmas Day in Britain?

More From The Irish Examiner