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10 IRA men reburied 80 years on

The 10 Irish heroes received full state honours  

DUBLIN, Republic of Ireland -- Thousands of people lined the streets of Dublin to honour 10 men executed more than 80 years ago.

The men were hung in 1920 and 1921 for taking part in Ireland's war of independence against British rule.

The 10, including Kevin Barry, one of the most celebrated figures in the Irish fight, have since lain buried in the grounds of Dublin's Mountjoy jail.

They were reburied with full state honours on Sunday in a day-long ceremony attended by dignitaries including Irish President Mary McAleese and prime minister Bertie Ahern.

The 10 men's coffins, draped in green, white and orange Irish tricolour flags, were taken from the prison in a fleet of hearses and through the centre of Dublin en route to Glasnevin cemetery, the site of the graves of most of Ireland's heroes.

A short religious ceremony at Mountjoy signalled the start of the proceedings, ahead of a special Requiem Mass in Dublin involving Cardinal Cahal Daly, former head of Ireland's Roman Catholic church.

The bodies of the 10 men were exhumed under the terms of a licence specially granted by justice minister John O'Donoghue.

The men being honoured 

The new funerals have been criticised on both sides of the Irish border, principally because of its timing.

In Dublin, political opponents of Ahern claimed the event had effectively been hi-jacked by his Fianna Fail party, who staged their annual conference in Dublin during the weekend.

And in Belfast, the ceremonies were condemned for being authorised at a sensitive time in the strained Northern Ireland peace process.

Ahern said it was right the whole nation should "collectively, without distinction, pay honour to those 10 patriots, who sacrificed so much on our behalf."

He added, the timings of the funeral and the conference had been co-incidental.

"It's not a commemoration, but a funeral for men who never had a funeral before," he said.

Kevin Barry, a nephew of the man whose name is remembered in a still-popular ballad, said he was "delighted" his uncle's remains were being transferred from the prison.

He said: "It was not a fit place for any of those men to be buried. If you wanted to go and visit, you had to apply for permission, and numbers were limited."

Kevin Barry was an 18-year-old medical student when he was hanged.

He was the first to be executed for taking part in the rebellion, and one of the youngest.

Barry was executed on November 1, 1920. The other nine were Thomas Whelan; Patrick Moran; Patrick Doyle; Bernard Ryan; Frank Flood; Thomas Bryan; Thomas Traynor; Edmond Foley and Patrick Maher. They were killed the following year.

All were sentenced to die by military courts martial after being found guilty of murder and, or, high treason.

Until their exhumation, six lay together in one of the prison graves.

All were being re-interred in Glasnevin, with the exception of Patrick Maher, whose family requested a separate burial in his native Co Limerick.

A number of streets in the centre of Dublin were closed for the ceremony.

Crowds watched in respectful silence, applauding as the hearses passed by.

The cortege was accompanied by an army guard of honour marching in slowtime to a single drumbeat.

Senior politicians from all parties, including all members of the government and opposition leaders, were among the 1,000 specially invited guests to the cathedral service.

Thousands more stood outside.

Political figures at the service, included Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and the party's full parliamentary representative team from the House of Commons and Dublin's Dail.


• Irish Government information

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