By Jimmy Rhatigan
Pics: Donal Foley
IT WAS a quiet and respectful ceremony in memory of a Fenian and revolutionary who was born in Kilkenny City.
There was no beating of drums or blowing of trumpets. A
wreath-laying ceremony and precis of his life story was Tom Kiernan’s tribute to John Haltigan after whom a city cumann of Sinn Féin is called.
Born in St Patrick’s Parish in 1819, John Haltigan died in 1884 and is buried at the now unused St Patrick’s Graveyard, a stone’s throw from where he once worked a small farm.
Nearby housing, Haltigan Terrace also remembers the local republican.
Sale of Easter Lilies provided funds for a memorial to honour Haltigan at an Easter Saturday ceremony when his life and times, including the 1848 Young Irelander Rebellion and that of his friend and fellow Kilkennyman, James Stephens were recalled .
The pair were founder members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood that was to organise and lead the 1916 Rebellion.
Haltigan was a printer for the Fenian Newspaper, The Irish People.
He spent three and a half years in an English prison and on his release continued as a committed Fenian in the US and later back in his home country. He died in Cork City in 1884.
Cumann chairman, Andy Barcoe thanked all who sold lilies, those who supported their efforts and local businesses who were so generous.
He told The Reporter the plan was to tend to Haltigan’s grave and to continue an annual commemoration which, from next Easter, will be on Good Friday.
A great, great, great granddaughter of John Haltigan, Mary E.
O’Brien Snr who lives in Rochester, New York has been in touch with the Kilkenny East Cumann.
The John Haltigan Cumann which has 35 members also laid a wreath at the Friary Street plaque to commemorate the Friary Street Ambush.