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Sgt Maj Coughlan Vc Day and Heritage exhibition

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  • Sgt Maj Coughlan Vc Day and Heritage exhibition

    The grave of Sgt Maj Coughlan VC will be dedicated on 07 Aug outside Westport at 1300 by the Defence Minister. this will be a colourful ceremony with a gathering of disbanded and other regimental associations fron NI. The volley will be fired by Connaught Rangers re-enactors. Do NOT miss this one.
    Also anybody interested in Irish Military Heritage should note that an Irish Military Heritage Exhibition will take place in Murrisk (near Croagh Patrick) following the dedication. Bring your camera.
    Any questions contact Military Heritage Tours at 086 8889 883 or
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Is there any other VC winners graves in Ireland.


    • #3
      VC Graves

      Affirmative, many more than you might have thought. Check out Iain Stewarts site


      • #4
        That`s a good site.


        • #5
          Another VC link
          Glaine ár gcroí
          Neart ár ngéag
          Agus beart de réir ár mbriathar


          • #6
            I like this one

            There are lots of Irish VC winners buried outside the country too.
            Say NO to violence against Women

            Originally posted by hedgehog
            My favourite moment was when the
            Originally posted by hedgehog
            red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head


            • #7
              Headstone to be unveiled to Irish hero who was awarded the Victoria Cross

              The Minister for Defence, Mr Smith, will unveil a headstone tomorrow in Co Mayo in memory of an Irish soldier who was awarded a Victoria Cross (VC) by the British army and has lain in an unmarked grave since he died 89 years ago.

              Sgt Major Cornelius Coughlan VC was born in Eyrecourt, Co Galway, in 1828, and fought with the 75th Regiment in the Indian Mutiny in 1857, where he won his VC for saving the life of another soldier at the siege of Delhi.

              He was later transferred to the Connaught Rangers, and lived in Westport for most of his life.

              He was given a funeral with full military honours when he died in 1915.

              However, a headstone was never erected, and the location of the grave was only recently discovered by an ex-officer of the Irish Army, Capt Donal Buckley.

              "Although he was a popular figure in the town before his death, and his funeral was a grand affair attended by hundreds of local people and the Irish police force, the political wind changed a few months later with the Rising," said Capt Buckley.

              "As was the custom of the time, a headstone had not yet been erected, and then after 1916 honouring those who served in the British army became unpopular, and he was forgotten about.

              "It's very sad that the grave of this brave Irish warrior hero should have been neglected in this way. The fact that an Irish Minister is honouring the grave in this manner speaks volumes for changing attitudes in this country, and is a great statement of reconciliation and of political maturity."

              The unveiling will be accompanied by a military guard of honour, and an Army bugler will play the Last Post.

              There will also be wreaths placed by representatives from the Irish United Nations Veterans Organisation and the Organisation of National ex-Servicemen and Women, and a volley from the Connaught Rangers re-enactors.

              The ceremony takes place at 1 p.m. in Aughavale Cemetery, Westport. It will be attended by Fine Gael leader Mr Enda Kenny, Mayo TD Dr Jerry Cowley, British Labour MP Mr Andrew McKinlay and representatives from the Irish and British armies

              © The Irish Times
              "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."


              • #8
                Which Irish county has produced the most VC winners?


                • #9
                  Looks like Dublin on 15, based on county of birth. Mind you that's after a quick look.
                  Say NO to violence against Women

                  Originally posted by hedgehog
                  My favourite moment was when the
                  Originally posted by hedgehog
                  red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head


                  • #10
                    Soldier's courage recalled 150 years on in 'reconciling' ceremony
                    Tom Shiel
                    The Irish Independent
                    9th August 2004

                    Sergeant-Major Cornelius Coughlan, Victoria Cross recipient, is honoured at the unveiling of a new gravestone.

                    AN OLD-style military ceremony, including a musket salute by men dressed as Redcoats, marked the unveiling of a gravestone of an honoured soldier.

                    The ceremony took place at the Mayo graveyard, where Sgt Major Cornelius Coughlan is buried. A native of Eyrecourt, Co Galway, he was one of about 200 Irishmen to receive the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest military honour.

                    Sgt Major Coughlan was decorated for bravery in the Indian Mutiny in 1857, but his grave at Aughavale Cemetery, near Westport, Co Mayo has been unmarked since his death in 1915.

                    Two great-great-granddaughters of the heroic Sergeant Major, Patricia O'Callaghan and Pauline McGowan, both from Glasgow, attended Saturday's colourful ceremony.

                    Ms O'Callaghan (49), a secondary school teacher, said she had never been overly concerned about the fact that the memory of her great-great-grandfather had been largely ignored.

                    "I think the most important thing is that he has become part of the peace process," she explained. Ms O'Callaghan's sentiments were echoed by Defence Minister Michael Smith TD and by the British Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Stuart Eldon, who were among the many attending the ceremony.

                    The minister performed the official re-dedication of the grave and pointed out that events like this could help to provide a better understanding of the differences that have existed up to now. He added it could demonstrate how to move forward without compromising on basic differences.

                    Mr Eldon said: "It symbolises the development of the relationship between Britain and Ireland, the new willingness to discuss things which were not so easily discussed at all and the willingness to think about the extent of our shared history."

                    Captain Donal Buckley , a director of Military Heritage Tours, said: "The fact that this man served in an imperial army is not the point. The fact that he was denying the Indians their independence and imposing colonial rule was not the point.

                    The point is that soldiers in combat are not thinking of ambition or lofty ideals. They are thinking of staying alive and their loyalty is to their comrades."

                    A musket volley was fired over the grave by a group dressed as Connaught Rangers, as part of the ceremony. Prayers at the graveside were led by Father Brendan Kilcoyne and Rev Gary Hastings, of the Church of Ireland.


                    • #11
                      Why are these things always dubbed "reconciliation ceremonies"? The man did an honourable thing. Surely a headstone over his grave is no more than his due?
                      Say NO to violence against Women

                      Originally posted by hedgehog
                      My favourite moment was when the
                      Originally posted by hedgehog
                      red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head


                      • #12
                        Defence Minister Michael Smith TD and by the British Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Stuart Eldon, who were among the many attending the ceremony.
                        Surprisingly, the Indian ambassador didn’t make it down.

                        A gallant soldier, but was he an Irish patriot?

                        15/08/04 00:00

                        By Tom McGurk
                        Even by the standards of the new rapprochement that Ireland and Britain enjoy since the Good Friday Agreement, it is difficult to understand the bizarre ceremony that occurred last week in a Mayo churchyard.

                        It was a military commemoration attended by Michael Smith, the Minister for Defence, plus the Irish Army, plus the British Ambassador and the Connaught Ranger re-enactors, to honour Sergeant-Major Cornelius Coughlan VC.

                        Coughlan was awarded the VC in 1857, when in the Indian Army (the British Army in India), for leading a rescue operation under heavy fire to rescue a colleague who was badly wounded.

                        This event occurred during the Indian Mutiny, when the majority section of the Indian Army, who were Indians, rebelled against the colonial power.

                        The schoolbooks tell us that a rumour spread among the Muslim troops in the Indian Army that animal fats were being used for the lubrication of their new cartridges. In reality, this rumour was the last in a long litany of grievances the native Indian troops had in relation to their conditions, promotions, pay and so forth.

                        Within weeks, large sections of the Indian Army had mutinied, and the minority portion, which was recruited from Britain and Ireland, was sent in to restore the Pax Britannia.

                        Perhaps a better understanding of what actually happened may be gleaned from the fact that the Indian history books refer to this period not as the `mutiny', but as `the first struggle for independence'.

                        By any standards, the methods by which Sergeant-Major Coughlan's comrades dealt with the Indian mutiny would, I think, deserve comparison with the Third Reich's Waffen SS.

                        A few historical cameos might illustrate. A mass meeting of thousands at the Crystal Palace in London in 1856 led by Anglican clergy set the tone for what was to follow.

                        The preacher on the day, Charles Spurgeon, said: ``The Indian government never ought to tolerate the religion of the Hindus at all. If my religion consisted of bestiality, infanticide and murder, I should have no religion unless I was prepared to be hanged.''

                        Next day the Times took up the hanging cry, and thundered: ``Every Tree and Gable End in the place should have its burden in the shape of a mutineer's carcass.''

                        The Indian Army took note. At one stage it was recorded that the last 15 miles on the road to Peshawar had thousands of carcasses hanging from the trees.

                        One lieutenant, Kendall Coughil, wrote in his diary: ``We burnt every village and hanged all the villagers who had treated our fugitives badly, until every tree was covered with scoundrels hanging from every branch.''

                        In the centre of Cawnpore, Brigadier General Neil forced captured mutineers to crawl on the streets and lick the blood of their white victims, before he executed them. At Peshawar groups of 40 at a time were strapped to the barrels of cannon and then blown apart, in the traditional punishment for mutiny.

                        In the wake of the relief of the besieged Lucknow it was recorded that a young boy supporting a tottering old man begged one British senior officer for help. The officer fired three times at the boy's head - each time the cap refusing to explode - until finally on the fourth occasion he managed to blow the child's head off.

                        History records how, all across India, in the very same year and month that Sergeant-Major Coughlan VC was earning his medal, unknown hundreds of thousands of Indians of all ages and religions and both sexes were mass-murdered.

                        Such savagery was perhaps not shown until 50 years later in 1919 at Amritsar, when (again thanks to the Indian Army) an unarmed crowd of 20,000 protestors were herded into an enclosed area and machine-gunned until 400 were dead and 1,400 wounded.

                        By any standards the methods used by the Indian Army in maintaining imperial control in India rivalled those of the Third Reich in occupied Europe during World War II.

                        Behind all the clowning in the cemetery in Mayo lurks the awful truth that Sergeant-Major Coughlan belonged to a military force that was prepared to perpetrate genocidal war crimes when called upon.

                        Whether Coughlan himself was a war criminal we don't know. We only know that, perhaps fortunately for him, the facts of history have closed over his personal deeds and left the VC version to elevate him into the `gallant soldier' whom our government, on our behalf, honoured last week.

                        And it seems that Sergeant-Major Coughlan was not alone. He was only one of the new gallant Irish heroes that we have now discovered.

                        According to the twaddle that Minister Smith spoke at the graveside: ``In fairness to Coughlan and the 60 other brave Irishmen who were awarded the VC during the military campaign that followed the Indian Mutiny, we should consider his actions in the light of the time in which he was living, rather than seek to judge him through the steely eye of complacent retrospection.''

                        I would hate to be complacent, but where else, and to what other gallant Irish soldiers of the Empire, might Minister Smith next take us?

                        It seems that we are about to embark on an imperial journey to select out of the genocide and mass murderers those gallant Irish heroes - because, as Minister Smith reminded us, ``Coughlan is every bit as much an Irishman as Lance-Corporal Malone [who died in Iraq], and those who fought for Ireland's independence, and those who fought against each other in our country's civil war.''

                        You think, dear reader, I'm making this stuff up; I'm not. So there you are. Shall we call it the Blue Peter - or is it the Green Paddy? - theory of history as expounded by Minister Smith?

                        Apparently, it doesn't matter what they did, or what they fought for; they're all equal because they were Irish. I wonder has Minister Smith taken his new theory off in search of new business?

                        Perhaps he might drop around to the German or Japanese ambassadors in Dublin, who might well have need of his extraordinary new commemoration caper.

                        It seems that a former Irish captain, Donald Buckley, lobbied for this bizarre commemoration and, of course, the entire pantomime, including Connaught Rangers re-enactors, complete with Connaught Ranger uniforms and muskets, was presided over by the British Ambassador, Stewart Eldon.

                        I gather, however, that the Connaught Ranger re-enactors are very selective with their re-enactments - though I'll bet they andMinister Smith could flog lots of tickets were they to try out Peshawar or Amritsar re-enactments.

                        Perhaps, in the spirit of the new times we live in, Minister Smith would ask the Indian Embassy to supply some Re-Enactment Mass Murdered? Wouldn't it be great gas all the same? Think of the tourists, the television rights, etc!

                        Have we just become gobs****s now, or were we always gobs****s?


                        • #13
                          Mr Mc Gurk is wasted in journalism when such a far more satisfying career awaits him at indymedia.

                          Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


                          • #14
                            Coughlan VC

                            I refer to McGurk's rant and would advise you to take a look at my reply.

                            Also to answer Groundhog's question about reconciliation. The official title of the day's proceedings was DEDICATION, however it was a day of Anglo / Irish reconciliation as well. A Day in which the Govt. officially recognised a huge portion
                            of our military history that had been claimed by the British and Unionists and rejected by Republicans.


                            • #15
                              McGurk is a crypto-Provo, a self-righteous sack of shit who doesn't have the balls to actually say "I support SF/IRA".
                              "Hello, Good Evening and Bollocks..."

                              Roger Mellie