John Devoy Stands Again
in Kildare

From left: Garrett Doyle, Kildare Association of New York; Peter Carey, Chief  Executive, Kildare County Council; Mayor of Kildare, Councillor Brendan Weld; Kevin O’Malley, Ambassador of the United States of America; Mike Flood,  Kildare Association of New York; and Marian Higgins, County Librarian of Kildare attend the unveiling of the Naas statue last year.
From left: Garrett Doyle, Kildare Association of New York; Peter Carey, Chief Executive, Kildare County Council; Mayor of Kildare, Councillor Brendan Weld; Kevin O’Malley, Ambassador of the United States of America; Mike Flood, Kildare Association of New York; and Marian Higgins, County Librarian of Kildare attend the unveiling of the Naas statue last year.

By Julia Brodsky, Editorial Assistant
April / May 2016

Last October, a statue of John Devoy was unveiled in Naas, Co. Kildare, the New York Fenian’s home county, aided primarily by the Kildare Association of New York, which raised the funds for the monument.

Though Devoy was highly instrumental in organizing the 1916 Easter Rising, his name is often forgotten, as he lived in forced exile from Ireland after his 1866 arrest for participation in planning an Irish uprising. Before his arrest, Devoy had been a leader in the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and once he settled in New York, became active in Clan na Gael, eventually aligning the two organizations.

He published the Gaelic American, a weekly newspaper, and worked tirelessly in support of Irish freedom, and helped to raise American funds to arm the Irish Volunteer. Pádraig Pearse, who visited Devoy in 1914, called him, “the greatest Fenian of them all.”

In 2008, Kildare man Seamus Curran founded the John Devoy Memorial Committee with the hope of raising funds to erect a statue of Devoy in Kildare. During the recession, the County Kildare Association of New York stepped in and helped raise the $45,000 necessary to erect the bronze statue of Devoy that now stands across the street from Our Lady and St. David’s Catholic Church, the very church where he was condemned from the pulpit for his political activities in the name of Irish freedom.

Though the project took several years to get off the ground, the unveiling came at just the right time, only months before Ireland’s centenary celebrations of the 1916 Rising that Devoy worked so hard to realize. ♦

Leave a Reply




Share



More Articles

Rodney Charman’s painting “The Odessa.”
Connecticut’s Coffin Ship Art Exhibit

Aseries of art pieces portraying the struggle for survival aboard the “coffin ships” on which 1.5 million Irish...

More

Lizzie Helmer. (Photo: Facebook)
Californian Student Discovers Cork Link

A Californian student attending University College Cork had a prominent role in the centenary commemoration of the...

More

Sculptor Michael Keropian’s clay mold of the bust of  Gen. Thomas Francis Meagher that will be  unveiled at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery July 1. (Photo: keropiansculpture.com)
Meagher’s Memorial, Late,
But Not Forgotten

When General Thomas Francis Meagher died, he never received a formal memorial. An Irish revolutionary turned exile,...

More

Col. Thomas J. Kelly and the memorial plaque at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.
IRB Leader and Civil War Vet Remembered

The 150th anniversary commemoration of Colonel Thomas J. Kelly and the Manchester Martyrs was celebrated at the...

More