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John Devoy Memorial

Dear Friends,

As many of you know my name is Mike Flood and I am formally from Kilmeade, Athy, County Kildare. I emigrated to this great country on January 31st, 1964 at 18 years old. I am here 50 years today. God Bless Ireland and God Bless the good old USA.

During the Vietnam War I was drafted in early 1968 and joined the United States Marine Corps on March 18, 1968. By the end of September 1968, I was on the ground in Vietnam. I was badly wounded on February 24th, 1969. After 3 months in hospitals, I was back in Vietnam with about four months to serve. I was wounded again in October 1969 this time by accidental friendly fire. I don’t understand why they call it “friendly fire” because it hurts like HELL and I was hospitalized for another three months. I still suffer from lots of Post-Traumatic Stress. However, I feel blessed, and perhaps, all of the above has inspired me to take on this project of honoring John Devoy, the “Forgotten Hero”. Enough about myself, now let’s finish this noble and historic cause and get the statue of John Devoy erected in Naas as soon as possible.

This project has been on my mind for about two years, ever since I read an Op-Ed piece in the Irish Echo by Terry Golway. What caught my eye was the name of Terry’s book, “The Irish Rebel” that was published in 1998. We know about the horrors of war. Let our cause be about honoring history and a great Kildare man, John Devoy, who fought so diligently for the cause of Irish Freedom. Let’s get the statue up in Poplar Square, Naas A.S.A.P.

A special welcome to our committee: Care Barry-Castledermond, John Duggan-Coil Dubh, Chris and Cathy Burke-Naas and Mayo, Pat Smyth-Carbury, Sister Anne Keegan-New Y9ork City (her father is from Carbury), Glenda Rooney-Newbridge and Garrett Doyle-Rath Gorragh Kill. Of course, this list can be added to.

We are all members of the Kildare Association, however, we are an independent subcommittee, tasked with the goal of raising money for erecting a bronze statue in honor of John Devoy in Poplar Square. The total cost of this project is still not entirely known, but rough estimates are: $15,000 for a “bust” (chest-head on a pedestal) or $30,000 for a life size statue. We will discuss all of the options and costs at f8utre meetings to be held at the Heritage Bar under the picture of th “Catalpa”, the ship used by John Devoy for his dramatic rescue of Irish prisoners from Western Australia.

In the Marines, the drill instructors would yell “JUMP” and we would reply with “HOW HIGH, SIR?” So, Let’s Jump. God Bless You All.

UPCOMING EVENTS

1. Reception For Mayor of Co. Kildare – March 16th
We will have a reception for Mayor Noland and Michael O’ Leary at the Heritage Restaurant, located at 960 McLean Ave, Yonkers on Sunday afternoon March 16th at 4pm. Please RSVP to any of the following committee members: Pat Smyth Tel: 914-961-6374; Marian ReHill Tel: 914-457-5118: Garrett Doyle 917-656-0674; Cathy Burke Tel: 516-352-5858; Carmel Mangan Tel: 914-968-2585.

2. St Patrick’s Day Parade on 5th Ave – March 17th
Our Mayor, Michael “Spike” Nolan will lead the Kildare contingent up 5th Ave on March 17th accompanied by Michael O’ Leary, Director of Services, Kildare County Council. See attachment for place and time of assembly.  Meeting on West 46th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues at 12:40pm.

3. Dinner Dance April 26th – Dunwoodie Country Club
Our annual dance enables Kildare people and their friends to get together for an evening of fun and chit chat. We hope as many as possible will attend. You will receive a notice in early April outlining the details. line Moynihan.

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