12 November 2021 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Veronica Corr

This beautiful photograph by Rory Geary, depicts one of Fianna Fáil’s youngest supporters presenting the Taoiseach Micheál Martin with a bouquet of flowers on Friday afternoon last. The little girl is Juliet Smyth, Deputy Niamh Smyth’s daughter. Deputy Smyth organised the event with Knockbride Cumainn. Juliet made the presentation to the Fianna Fáil leader at the centenary commemoration of her great-granduncle being sentenced to death during the War of Independence on charge of High Treason.

She also dressed in a contemporary costume circa 1921 to mark the occasion. The reason Friday’s event was a celebration is because the story didn’t end badly. Paddy Smith from Tunnyduff, County Cavan, not only lived to tell the tale, but he also went on to be a founding member of Fianna Fáil. The late politician still holds the record for having the longest service of any TD in the history of the State.

He died in Castleblayney in 1982 of natural causes, 61 years after he was sentenced to death. The calling of a truce literally saved his life, as his execution was scheduled the day after the War of Independence ended! Luck was certainly on his side. This historic political figure was honoured at Friday’s ceremony in West Knockbride by local actors/ Cumainn members wearing period costumes observing a Guard of Honour for the present day Fianna Fáil leader, and with an exhibition of memorabilia from the..

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