In memory of Dan Keating,who passed away on October 2, 2007, this is dedicated.
(This video was originally on my other channel. Sorry for any confusion!)
DAN KEATING ORATION
Oration delivered by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, President Republican Sinn Féin
at the funeral of Republican Veteran and Patron of Republican Sinn
Féin Dan Keating in Co. Kerry on Friday October 5.
"We stand by Dan Keating s grave in all humility, for this was an
Irishman and a Kerryman who gave more than 90 years of service to the
All-Ireland Republic of 1916 and the First (All-Ireland) Dáil. But we
are fiercely proud of his long lifetime of service.
For more than four score and ten years since he first took the Oath of
Allegiance to that Republic, Dan fought in defence of it, stood by it
and adhered faithfully to it until his death last October 2 at the
great age of 105 years. He was an inspiration to succeeding
generations of Republicans, never deviating from the hard road of
service and suffering, striving to place All Ireland and its future in
the hands of the Irish people.
Uinseann Mac Eoin, in his book The IRA in the Twilight Years1923-48,
published in 1997, gives us a glimpse of Dan Keating:
A man who has travelled to almost every All-Ireland final in Croke
Park and whose fighting goes back into Tan times.
Tall and spare, at more than 90 years of age he is not stooped,
carrying himself with an easy grace; his face soft, not weather
beaten. Yet he has spent much of his life standing, having been a
barman, in a string of public houses in Dublin; for a number of years
in London, and then back again in Dublin, two cities that are well
known to him.
Dan joined Fianna Eireann at the end of1916 and went on two years
later to enrol in the ranks of the Irish Republican Army, first with
Kerry No 1 Brigade, and later with Kerry No 2 under its Brigade O/C,
John Joe Rice. His combat duty included the highly successful ambush
of British forces in his native Castlemaine in1921. Later he saw
service in the Castleisland ambush where casualties were also
inflicted on the occupation forces, but four of his Volunteer comrades
were also killed in action.
Following the Treaty of Surrender, Dan fought against Free State
forces in Limerick and Tipperary before being captured and interned in
Portlaoise jail and later in Tintown Camp on the Curragh. Released in
1924, he was back in harness in the Republican Cause.
He endured several short terms of imprisonment in the 1930s, before
going to England to take part in the 1939-40 Sabotage Campaign there.
He soldiered alongside Sean McNeela of Mayo, JJ Reynolds of Leitrim
and Richard Goss of Dundalk.
Back in Ireland, Dan was interned without trial at the Curragh
1940-44. A Republican leader whom he met at that time and respected
greatly was George Plant of Tipperary. The re-organisation of the
Republican Movement afterwards was long and difficult. Larry Grogan of
Drogheda, Frank Driver of Kildare and Mick McCarthy of Cork were men
he looked up to.
When he retired from work and settled in his native Co Kerry in 1978,
Dan threw himself into local Republican activity. In 2004, he was
elected by the Ard-Fheis of Republican Sinn Féin to be its Patron.
This was in succession to Comdt-Gen Tom Maguire of Mayo, Michael
Flannery of Tipperary and New York and George Harrison of Mayo and New
Dan Keating attended and spoke at Ard-Fheiseanna, gave interviews to
newspapers, and on radio.He was at all times very clear as to what was
required: Ireland was one country, one nation and one people. The
English government had no right to be in any part of Ireland; they
must go and then the Irish people, acting as a unit, would decide
their own future. He accepted that this would be best resolved through
a four-province federation, as proposed by Republican Sinn Féin, under
one over-arching national parliament.
When he was chosen as Munster Honoree at the annual dinner of CABHAIR
(the Prisoners Dependants Fund organisers) some years ago the citation
included the following:
Dan' s other great interest is Gaelic games, and indeed between
football and hurling he has attended over 138 All-Ireland senior
finals, including replays, which must be a record in itself. He now
resides at Ballygamboon, Castlemaine.
During his long, healthy and adventurous lifetime, Dan has seen many
splits and deviations from Republican principles, but he had remained
loyal and true, and there is no more fitting recipient of this honour
than this noble son of Kerry.
Dan Keating regarded the so-called peace process as a surrender
process and would not accept any British government presence in
Ireland, regardless of how it was presented to the Irish people.
Long may his ideals live in the hearts of the Kerry people he loved
and the Irish people to whom he gave a lifetime of service.
Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis."
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