Moving tribute at Moate park to late Pte Kelly

A memorial to the late Private Patrick Kelly, who died in the line of duty 25 years ago, was unveiled this week in Moate Town Park.

In an emotional ceremony on Tuesday morning, family and comrades of Pte Kelly gathered in the park to honour the memory of the only soldier to have been killed in action in this country since the Civil War.

A moving tribute was paid to the late soldier by the presence of former supermarket boss Don Tidey, who was kidnapped by the IRA in 1983 and during whose release Pte Kelly was shot.

Mr Tidey laid a wreath at the memorial and spent time with Pte Kelly’s widow Catriona and sons David, Michael, Patrick, and Andrew.

The plaque was unveiled by Brig Gen Gerry Hegarty, General Officer Commanding the 4th Western Brigade, who spoke of the huge sacrifice made by Pte Kelly in the service of the State and described him as a “gallant soldier”.

Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Cllr Joe Whelan, and Cllr Tom Allen turned the first sod in the new park.

Paying tribute to the late soldier, Cllr Whelan described him as a “gentleman”, and a family man whose great passion was cars, adding that his family had shown “dignity and resilience” throughout the years since his death.

The dedication ceremony was followed by a minute’s silence and Mass was then held in the Carmelite Church.

Pte Kelly was killed, alongside trainee Garda Gary Sheehan, at Derrada Wood in Co Leitrim on December 16, 1983 during the rescue of the kidnapped Mr Tidey. To date no one has been convicted in relation to the killings.  

 

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