An Emotional Remembrance and Recognition event in memory of those who lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic, was held in St Mary’s Hospital in Castleblayney during the March Bank holiday weekend. The event was organised by Monaghan County Council as part of a nationwide series of commemoration activities around St Patrick’s holiday weekend. During the event tributes were also paid to frontline health service workers, first response personnel and the voluntary sector in the county for their efforts made during the pandemic. The Ceremony of Remembrance and Reflection took place adjacent to the St Mary’s Famine graveyard where a wreath was laid by the County Council Cathaoirleach Aiden Campbell and candles lit by attendees. Fr Adrian Walshe PP of Muckno Parish and Imam Mohammed Tausmiah Talukder from the Muslim community, lifted the event to the spiritual dimension. Mary McGarvey, Monaghan County Council Meetings Administrator, acted as Master of Ceremonies. Cathaoirleach Aiden Campbell addressed ceremony audience with the opening lines of Patrick Kavanagh’s poem “In Memory Of My Mother”. In his speech the Cathaoirleach made special mention of those who had lost loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic and welcomed the County’s front-line services representatives. As this event was one of remembrance, reflection and commemoration, there were also remembered all who are buried at St Mary’s Famine graveyard. The Cathaoirleach acknowledged the many front-line workers and thanked for all their hard work in supporting society when they needed them most. At the end of the ceremony, the Cathaoirleach thanked everyone who made this Remembrance event happen, making particular mention of Greg Boylan and PJ McMahon who made the ceremony area exceptional tidy, and the staff of Carrickmacross/Castleblayney Municipal District who assisted with the event’s organisation. He concluded the speech with the closing lines of same Kavanagh’s poem.
Among the event attendees were the HSE representatives Cathal Hand, the Network Manager of Primary Care Services in Monaghan, ad Paula Loughran, Operational Site Manager at the Vaccination Centre in the county. The local public representatives were P J O’Hanlon, Chair of the Carrickmacross/Castleblayney MD, Richard Truell, Chair of the Ballybay/Clones MD, Colm Carthy, the Chairperson of CMETB and Co Council members Aoife McCooey, Noel Keelan and Seamus Coyle. There was also a strong representation from the ranks of An Garda Síochána, Monaghan Fire Service and Monaghan Civil Defence.