Plans are being made in Sligo to mark the centenary next year of a mutiny by members the British Army’s Connacht Rangers regiment in India.
The mutiny occurred in June 1920 when news reached India about the atrocities and violence that had been happening in Ireland.
Mary Henry’s grandfather, James Gorman, from Tubbercurry, was a member of the Connacht Rangers who mutinied.
He had enlisted in the regiment’s barracks, at King House in Boyle in May 1915.
Yesterday, in a presentation to a meeting of councillors from the Ballymote/Tubbercurry/West Sligo area in Tubbercurry, Mary Henry gave details of the planned centenary commemoration next year.
As well as her grandfather, there were also other men from Sligo involved in the mutiny, Martin Conlon and Jack Scanlon, from Sligo town.
Mary Henry briefly gives the background to what happened:
The mutineers were court martialed, 14 were sentenced to death, 13 of whom later had their sentences commuted to life in prison.
Cruelly treated, they were later returned to prison in England and eventually released following an amnesty as part of the Anglo Irish Treaty.
Many of their families and communities never knew what had happened, the hardship the men endured . . .and many of them didn’t talk about it.
Mary Henry says they knew the punishment for mutiny was death, they were prepared to lay down their lives in India when they heard what had been happening in Ireland and the reprisals by the Black and Tans.
They were, she says, heroes who were never honoured, true Irishmen that history forgot.
It’s now planned that part of next year’s commemoration will include the unveiling of a monument in Wolfe Tone Street in Tubbercurry.
Among those invited to attend are President Michael D Higgins and the Indian ambassador to Ireland.
It will be an occasion when, after a 100 years, a gap in history will finally be filled . . . when the sacrifice of Irish heroes in a far-off land will at last be acknowledged.