FORGOTTEN HERO JOHN DEVOY TO RISE AGAIN IN BRONZE

by ehistoryadmin on May 16, 2014

The County Kildare Association of New York

Forgotten Hero John Devoy To Rise Again In Bronze Form

YONKERS, NY – Forgotten Heroes rarely receive the place of honor they deserve, and Mike Flood is dead set on changing that. Flood and his committee are spearheading a new effort to commission a statue of Irish Freedom Fighter John Devoy in Naas, County Kildare. The John Devoy Committee of New York, a subcommittee of the County Kildare Association of New York, is the organizational force behind the John Devoy Memorial Fund and has set a goal to raise $45,000 to erect a life-size bronze statue of Devoy in a prominent public space in Naas on the approval of local authorities.

The statue will be placed in the same town where Devoy worked before his arrest and incarceration in a British prison for his political activities in the name of Irish freedom. The fundraising campaign is the brainchild of Kildare Association and former Kilmeade, Athy, Kildare resident, Mike Flood, whose experiences during the Vietnam War inspired him to take on this project to honor Devoy. Flood explains, “Let our cause be about honoring history and a great Kildare man, John Devoy, who fought so diligently for the cause of Irish Freedom.”

After five years of incarceration, Devoy and his comrades were exiled for life; never to return to the British Isles. Devoy spent the rest of his life in New York City, where he was an influential journalist and commanding presence in the Irish-American nationalist scene. As the leader and guiding force of Clan na Gael, he raised money and organized assistance for the Easter Rebellion of 1916, played a key role in the struggle for self-determination for Ireland, and sought to rally American policy pressure on Ireland’s behalf during the War of Independence.  Padraig Pearse referred to Devoy as “The greatest Fenian.” Perhaps Devoy’s best known exploit was organizing the daring rescue in 1875 of six of his comrades from Fremantle Prison in Western Australia aboard the ship Catalpa. Sadly, Devoy’s legacy has been somewhat forgotten in Ireland following his death in 1928. Although he received a state funeral from the Irish Free State, his work on behalf of Irish freedom and self-determination has gone largely uncelebrated.

The statue in Naas will reverse that trend and revive interest in this great hero as Irish at home and abroad prepare for the centennial of the Easter Rebellion in 2016. In order to accomplish this project, the Committee is appealing for support from various Irish institutions worldwide, and in particular, Irish Americans and Irish American Institutions. The support of Irish Americans is necessary to help honor a man who, after all, lived in the U.S. far longer than he lived in Ireland.

In addition to the far reaching online donation drive, the Committee is organizing various fundraisers, concerts and special events. To find out more information or to make a donation, visit http://countykildare.org/johndevoymemorialfund.

Visit the site today and get involved in helping to ensure this rebel leader and hero receives the recognition he rightly deserves.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO COVER THIS STORY IN YOUR PUBLICATION
CONTACT: Terence Burke, tburke.bnsmusic@comcast.net 516-455-2156
FOR MAIL-IN DONATIONS: Please make out checks to The Kildare Association:
The John Devoy Memorial Fund
78 Walnut Avenue
Floral Park, NY 11001

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