IN 1914, a group of people in Doora took up arms to fight for the cause of Irish freedom.
The group, known as the Doora Volunteers, were formed and trained by a local man, Monty Delahunty, on the use of arms and ammunition. As guns and ammunition were scarce, they used timber replica guns to train. The volunteers trained two nights a week in Calleys field in Bunnow Inner, Doora, sometimes under the cover of darkness to avoid been caught by the authorities and jailed or maybe face execution. Delahunty later went on to fight in the battlefields of Flanders on the Western front and never returned.
When the war died down and some kind of peace reigned, a local bard composed a song about the exploits of the volunteers. The song became a rebel song for the volunteers and has been sung in the parish for years. However, with the passing of time, the words of the song were lost and seemed never to be found – until now.
With painstaking research, local man Frankie Sheedy has found the song and restored it. On Friday night, at the Shibeen pub in Doora, the song along with a photograph of the volunteers and some of the history on the volunteers was unveiled. It now hangs in the pub.
The official unveiling was carried out by people connected to the volunteers; Tony Mangan, who provided the names of the volunteers on the photograph; Dan Hogan, whose uncle Tom was one of the volunteers, who later joined the gardaí and was personal bodyguard to President Eamonn de Valera and Malty Horan, whose father Johnno was a volunteer. His son, Tony, was also present.
Others involved in the unveiling were Bridget Slattery, whose grandfather, Mick Glynn, was a volunteer; Judy Fawl, whose father, Jimmy Culligan, was a volunteer (Judy’s son, Mickey, also attended) and Phil Hegarty, whose late husband’s father, Paddy, was a volunteer. Phil’s daughter, Ann Marie, was also in attendance.
After the launch, Frankie Sheedy gave a rousing version of the Doora Volunteers to a packed pub.