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  Cultural Visit to Drogheda 2005 click here for more photos
Thirty-six members of the group recently enjoyed a cultural visit to Drogheda. The three day trip set out on Friday November 25th and returned on Sunday November 27th.
Upon arrival, the group were met by Sean Collins, the former Lord Mayor of Drogheda, who gave a talk on the town and it's role in the Great War and the part played by Ireland as a whole during that conflict.
The next morning the group made its way to the Drogheda War Memorial which is a celtic cross with the names of 400 men from the area who fought in World War One. A wreath was laid on behalf of the visitors by Derek Graham from Dungannon and our current Chairman, Wesley Wright, pronounced the exhortation.
From here the group moved on to St Peters Roman Catholic Church where they saw Oliver Plunkett's head, which is preserved in the building. Following this trip, the group moved on to the Lord Mayor's Parlour where they view items from the Williamite era including a mace and a sword presented to the town by King William III in 1692. The members also enjoyed a talk on Drogheda by the current Lord Mayor, Tommy Murphy. Next on the agenda for the group was a visit to the sites of the Battle of the Boyne and a talk on the events by Sean Collins.
  The group then visited the birthplace of John Boyle O'Reilly, the famous poet and writer and member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. The group also toured a cottage once lived in by famous poet Francis Ledwidge who, despite being a strong Irish nationalist, was also a firm believer in the war effort and died in the great war in Belgium in 1917. They then visited a church on the outskirts of Drogheda where St Patrick once preached. The day came to a close with a visit to Collon Church of Ireland, the church of Lieutenant Emerson VC, who served with the 9th Inniskilling Fusiliers (the Tyrones) who won a Victoria Cross on 6th December 1917. A wreath was laid on behalf of the group by Harry McKinney and Jim Gallagher, who were also members of the Regiment.
On Sunday, those on the trip traveled to an early Christian settlement at Munster Boyce which has two Celtic crosses similar to the one in Ardboe. The site also boasts an original round tower which would have been used as a place of refuge by monks during the Viking era. Sean Collins then showed the group a home designed by Christopher Wren and owned by a cousin of Field Marshall Montgomery. From here it was on to St Peter's Church of Ireland which features stone carvings from the plague era and the group also noted the many headstones in the graveyard displaying the names of those who had served in the British forces. After this, they made their way to Church of Ireland on top of the hill and south of the river which is built close to the site where Cromwell breached the city walls. The site also contains the grave of a WW1 British soldier, which lies close to the grave of a former IRA volunteer who was shot by Michael Collins' men during the Civil War period.
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