Michael O’Rahilly, better known as The O’Rahilly, was one of the leading figures of the Easter Rising 1916. He was a founding member of the Irish Volunteers and became its Director of Arms.
He died after being shot by British soldiers shortly before the end of the rebellion.
The O’Rahilly travelled the country to inform volunteers that the rising had been postponed, only to return to Dublin to find that the leaders had decided to go ahead. He joined the rebels in the GPO and issued the famous words: “Because I helped wind the clock, I came to hear it strike.
A number of football and athletics clubs across Ireland were named after The O’Rahilly, including the Clonoe O’Rahilly GFC in Co Tyrone. Now the club has unveiled a bust in his honour. It was unveiled by The O’Rahilly’s grandson Proinsias O’Rahilly.
Proinsias said the black marble bust by sculptor Steve Finney was a fantastic piece of work and one of the best images of the O’Rahilly that he’d ever seen. “It’s a great honour and I can safely say that I have not encountered such a wonderful community to date! It was a pleasure to visit Clonoe!
Michelle O’Neill, the leader of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland, is a native of Clonoe and attended the unveiling ceremony.
Proinsias ( right) with sculptor Steve Finney
Proinsias with Michelle O’Neill, leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling