While the names of Liam Mellows and Joe Howley are among the best known names in Galway's contribution to the 1916 Rising, a forgotten participant in the rebellion, Martin Reney, is to honoured at an event this weekend.
Martin 'Mattie' Reney was born in The Weir, Kilcolgan in 1893, the second youngest of 10 children and worked with his father, a boatbuilder and small farmer. He later joined the Irish Volunteers and took part in the 1916 Rising under Liam Mellows, with Galway seeing the highest level of activity, after Dublin.
Mr Reney was among those who rose with the Clarinbridge Company, and took part in ambushes on both the Clarinbridge and Oranmore RIC barracks on Tuesday April 25 1916, but was badly wounded in the exchange of fire, and died two weeks later as a result of his wounds.
He was buried in the Old Cemetery at The Weir, where a large headstone with ornate ironwork was erected, but over the decades his grave became overgrown with weeds and the stone badly weather beaten. However, this year, a group of local volunteers have cleaned and restored Mr Reney's grave.
Galway Sinn Féin will hold a short wreath-laying ceremony at Mr Reney’s grave in the Old Cemetery at the Weir, Kilcolgan, this Saturday at 12 noon and are encouraging anyone with an interest in Martin Reney’s involvement with the Irish Volunteers to attend.
“There are many people who feel that the lack of prominence given to Martin in official State centenary commemorative events was disappointing," said local Sinn Féin activist Naiomh O’Gorman. "This is our opportunity to give Mattie the recognition he deserves before the close of this year. The wreath-laying will be a short event and is open to anyone who wishes to attend.”