Airport should be renamed after forgotten rebel who took part in two uprisings

I AM writing on behalf of the members of the 1916-1921 Club whose main objective is to honour and remember the dead who fought for Irish freedom and all those who worked for the same cause.

The founder members of the 1916-1921 Club were veterans of the 1916 Rising and the subsequent War of Independence. The club approves and supports a proposal that Senator Labhrás O Murchú made in the Seanad on April 27 that Dublin Airport be renamed Tom Clarke Airport. In his teenage years Tom Clarke joined the Fenians in Dungannon, Co Tyrone. When he was 24 he was arrested in London as a result of his Fenian activities there. He subsequently served 15 years in extremely harsh conditions in British jails where he found it difficult even to preserve his sanity. In 1907, nine years after his release from prison, he returned to Dublin and opened a tobacconist/newsagent shop in Great Britain Street (now Parnell Street). He again immersed himself in the IRB and together with his close friend, Seán MacDiarmada, and the other members of the IRB military council, played a prominent part in the planning of the 1916 Easter Rising.

By virtue of his seniority and contribution over many years to the establishment of the Irish Republic, Tom Clarke was given the honour of being the first signatory of the proclamation of the Irish Republic.

He was stationed in the GPO in Dublin during the rebellion. Following the surrender on April 29, Clarke was tried by courtmartial and sentenced to death. He was executed by a British firing squad on May 3, 1916 at the age of 59.

Tom Clarke has been forgotten and the members of the 1916-1921 Club believe he deserves better. Accordingly we strongly support the proposal of Senator O Murchú that Dublin Airport be renamed Tom Clarke Airport in time for the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

Nora Comiskey

President

1916-1921 Club

Pearse Street

Dublin 2

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