Priest to speak out on Irish unity at Fermoy commemoration

A LEADING peace and human rights campaigner will deliver a keynote speech next week in which he will criticise the Government for not doing enough to achieve unity on the island.

Fr Joe McVeigh is to use the annual General Liam Lynch national commemoration to outline his concerns about a government which he says has become preoccupied with the economic crisis and has taken “its eye off the ball” on the issue of progressing peace in the North.

“The only way forward for Irish unity is peace,” the author of numerous books said. “I am very heartened by the developments in the North since the Good Friday Agreement. But I’m disappointed with the Dublin Government’s approach as they are totally preoccupied with economic matters.”

The Fermanagh-based priest said he was also concerned that Dissident Republicans were trying to persuade more young people to join their ranks.

He said the inactivity of the Government could possibly fuel more militancy. “There is a better atmosphere between the Orange and the Green, but there is a lot more to do.”

Fr McVeigh will outline what he thinks the Government should do to further enhance the peace process when he delivers the oration at Kilcrumper Cemetery, Fermoy, on Sunday week, September 12.

It marks the 87th anniversary of the death of General Liam Lynch on the Knockmealdown Mountains in South Tipperary.

Cllr Frank O’Flynn, chairman of the National Liam Lynch Commemoration Committee, said he is delighted that this year’s oration will be given by such a well known person as Fr McVeigh.

The commemoration will start with Mass which will be celebrated at 10.30am in St Patrick’s Church, Fermoy.

The parade, which will commence at 11.45am, will be led by pipe bands and will march from the local Fitzgerald GAA club to the Republican plot in Kilcrumper cemetery where General Liam Lynch is buried.

Wreaths will be laid on the plot and Fr McVeigh will deliver the oration at 12.30pm.

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