The newly elected Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Michael Clarke’s first official engagement was in Banada on Sunday, where he attended the unveiling of a War of Independence Memorial.
Cathaoirleach Attends Memorial Event in Banada
The Cathaoirleach also delivered a tribute on Linda Kearns, who served in the conflict.
In his welcome address the Cathaoirleach thanked Sean Owens and his team ‘for their outstanding work in bringing this major project to fruition. Sean set out the reason for this Memorial in very simple terms. ‘It is something we had to do to remind people of the sacrifices of those who went before.’ He also commended Sligo County Librarian Donal Tinney for his exemplary work on this and other major community projects over the years.
The monument will be a place where people can inform themselves on the men and women who fought in the War of Independence, and reflect on the special contribution they made. There is a wide catchment to the Memorial, with volunteers from Sligo, Charlestown and East Mayo. Among them are three notable heroines, Countess Markievicz, Mary Ellen Durcan, and Linda Kearns.
Sligo County Council is honoured to be associated with this project, it adds greatly to our font of local knowledge on the war of Independence. It will enlighten current and future generations about this fractured era in our history, and the personal accounts of their lives still resonate a century later.’
Services to nursing
In his tribute to Linda Kearns, the Cathaoirleach spoke of her ‘courage, spirit and resilience. She treated the injured from both sides of the conflict during the Easter Rising in 1916. Over the course of her life, she took part in military action, was arrested many times and even escaped from Mountjoy Jail. But for the nursing and medical profession she will be forever recalled as a champion for better working conditions for nurses and was awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal for services to nursing.
Sligo County Council was honoured to be associated with the unveiling of a plaque in her memory at Sligo University Hospital in 2016’.
The Cathaoirleach concluded his address by commending the Banda Development Agency for including a tribute to Linda in the programme for the ceremony. ‘It has provided a welcome opportunity and reflect on the life and legacy of a very special person.’