#OTD in 2001 – The first multiple State funeral is held in honour of ten IRA Volunteers, including Kevin Barry, who were executed for their role in the War of Independence.

More than 80 years after they were buried in the grounds of Mountjoy Gaol, the bodies of the ten men were exhumed and reinterred in a special new plot at Glasnevin Cemetery. They were executed in Mountjoy Gaol by British forces following courts-martial from 1920–21 during the Irish War of Independence.

Based upon military law at the time, they were buried within the prison precincts, their graves unmarked in the unconsecrated ground. The names of the Forgotten Ten are Kevin Barry, Patrick Moran, Frank Flood, Thomas Whelan, Thomas Traynor, Patrick Doyle, Edmond Foley, Thomas Bryan, Bernard Ryan, and Patrick Maher.

The executioner was John Ellis, one of the United Kingdom’s hangmen at that time.

Following the Irish War of Independence, Mountjoy Gaol was transferred to the control of the Irish Free State. In the 1920s, the families of the dead men requested their remains be returned to them for proper burial. This effort was joined in the later 1920s by the National Graves Association. Through the efforts of the Association, the graves of the men were identified in 1934, and in 1996 a Celtic Cross was erected in Glasnevin Cemetery to commemorate them.

The campaign to rebury the men dragged on for 80 years from their deaths. Following an intense period of negotiations, the Irish government relented. Plans to exhume the bodies of the 10 men were announced on 1 November 2000, the 80th anniversary of the execution of Kevin Barry. On 14 October 2001, the Forgotten Ten were afforded full state honours, with a private service at Mountjoy Prison for the families of the dead, a requiem mass at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral and burial in Glasnevin Cemetery.

The state funeral, broadcast live on national television and radio, was only the 13th since independence of the Irish Free State. Patrick Maher would not be reburied with his comrades. In accordance with his wishes, and those of his family, he was reinterred in Ballylanders, Co Limerick.

Featured Image |  The grave of nine of the Forgotten Ten in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

Image | Plaque placed by the Irish Government on the graves of the Volunteers

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