This Sunday, September 2nd 2012 the Henry-Joy McCracken Republican Flute Band will lead a United Irish Commemoration in North Belfast. A parade will leave Duncairn Parade in the New Lodge area marching to the grave of Irish Patriot, Henry-Joy McCracken in nearby Clifton Street Cemetery. All Republicans are more than welcome to attend and honour Henry-Joy and all those United Irish Society members who fought and died for liberty, equality and freedom in Ireland in the 1798 Rising.
Henry-Joy was born in Belfast in 1797 into a progressive and influential Presbyterian family who strongly believed in social, economic justice and Irish freedom. McCracken became interested in radical politics from an early age and helped found the Society of the United Irishmen. He travelled across Ireland convincing his fellow citizens of the need to strike a blow for freedom in Ireland. He was arrested for sedition in 1796 and imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin. Within two months, he was freed and continued organising a Rising with amongst others, Theobold Wolfe Tone, James Tapper Nandy, Samuel Neilson and others.
|General. Henry-Joy McCracken|
Following the Rising of the United Irishmen in Leinster in May 1798, the Antrim branch of the Society met where Henry-Joy was elected General. On June 5th, Irish Republicans attacked the British Garrison at Antrim but were defeated. McCracken was eventually captured and offered an Amnesty if he testified against his comrades, he refused was publicly Hanged at Cornmarket on July 17th, 1798.
His execution like those of his Comrades was to send a signal to other Republicans who opposed British tyranny in Ireland. Even though, Henry-Joy died over two Centuries ago. The teachings and legacy of the United Irish Society remain an integral part of modern Republicanism. The ideology is one of the most progressive and radical political traditions in Ireland. Paying tribute to his legacy is right and proper.
|Henry-Joy Republican Flute Band @ Dundalk|
Two years ago, a number of dedicated Belfast Republicans formed a Flute Band in Henry-Joy's honour, since then the band has steadily grown and is based in the City. The band has taken part in a number of parades in Belfast, Dundalk, Portadown and Tyrone. The band is a credit to everyone involved and it's great to see it attracting many young people. Keeping the positive message of the United Irishmen alive; 'It is new sprung and it shall be heard'.
This Sunday afternoon, the HYRFB will lead the Commemorative march in the New Lodge around 3pm to Henry-Joy's grave in nearby Clifton Street Cemetery. Where Leading Republican, Ciarán Cunningham of the Republican Network for Unity (RNU) will deliver a fitting Oration.
All those interested in liberty, equality and fraternity in Ireland are more than welcome to attend the forthcoming commemoration this Sunday. Come and join us celebrate the life of Irish Patriot, Henry-Joy McCracken. For further information on the Henry-Joy McCracken Republican Flute Band, please click on the following; http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003015653981