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THE LEINSTER LEADER OF JUNE 1963 REPORTS ON MEMORIAL ERECTED OVER THE GRAVE OF PATRIOT AND ATHLETE CONLETH MARTIN O'BRIEN.

Leinster Leader 6th June 1963


Memorial in Naas cemetery unveiled

A ten feet high Celtic cross, erected by a joint committee of Sinn Fein and Naas Athletic Club, over the grave of Conleth Martin O’Brien, patriot and athlete, was unveiled in St. Corban’s Cemetery, Naas, on Sunday.
The unveiling was performed by Mr. Joseph McDonald, Chairman of the Committee, after a parade from Market Square, led by St. Mary’s Brass and Reed Band, Maynooth.
After the unveiling an oration was delivered by Mr. Martin Shannon, Sinn Fein.  Mr. Jack Hartigan, Naas A.C. also spoke.
A bugler from Fianna Eireann sounded the last post and the proceedings ended with the National anthem.

RELATIVES

Relatives of Mr. O’Brien at the unveiling included Mr. Joseph O’Brien 18 Seapark Drive, Clontarf, (brother); Miss Mary O’Brien, 27 Eaton Square, Terenure;
Mrs Phyllis Kelly, 29 Rathmore Park, Raheny (sisters); Mrs. Patricia O’Brien (sister-in-law); Mr. Sean Kelly (brother-in-law).
Mr. O’Brien is also survived by brothers Patrick and Terence and sisters Kathleen and Agnes, all of whom live in England.
In his oration, Mr. Shannon said that Martin O’Brien joined the Republican Army in his early youth and played a man’s part during the heroic revolt against the British in Ireland in 1920 and ’21.  Afterwards he stood in consistency with the soldiers of the republic.  He remained staunch in the belief that the Treaty of 1921 was not the final solution tot the problem of British domination in Ireland, that the resulting situation was not political, economic or financial freedom.
Martin O’Brien was not a man given to rest.  When the sabotage campaign was launched in England in 1939 he worked with supporters of the movement at home.  When the Irish Government interned hundreds of republicans in the Curragh in 1940, though not then a young man, he helped organise a secret communications system with the prisoners and often cycled 20 or more miles a day collecting and delivering messages.
During the closing years of his life he contributed many poems and ballads to the “United Irishman”.
All were aware, Mr. Shannon added, that Martin O’Brien had been a leader in athletics in Kildare in his youth and brought honour to his country in this field.  His attitude to athletics was the same as that of Michael Cusack and Archbishop Croke; he saw that through the national pass-times the moral and physical fibre of the younger generation could be strengthened, that love of country could be instilled in them in such a way that it would become a living and inspiring flame to guide them into the path of unselfish service to their motherland.

PROUD CLUB

Mr. Jack Hartigan, on behalf of the Athletic Club, said they were commemorating a man who was one of the greatest athletes in the country for many years.  He had been a founder member of Naas Club and the Club was proud to be associated in the erection of the memorial.
The monument was executed by Peter Walshe and Sons, Carlow.

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A ten feet high Celtic cross, erected by a joint committee of Sinn Fein and Naas Athletic Club over the grave of Conleth Martin O’Brien, patriot and athlete, was unveiled in St. Corban’s Cemetery, Naas.

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