One of the six Belfast Crystal pieces awarded to the Honorees on the night.

The CABHAIR 2012 Testimonial was held yesterday (Saturday 19th May) in the Academy Plaza Hotel in Dublin city centre and was a fantastic success : over 100 people were ‘fed and watered’ , (re-)introduced to the six Honorees and/or their representatives and shared a few drinks and a four-course meal with them in the upstairs lounge for about two hours before we were ushered to the downstairs function room where , after another round of drinks , the main proceedings began.

CABHAIR flag-stand on display in the function room.

The event was expertly Chaired by Dan Hoban , Mayo , who had , as usual, done his homework , although he ‘stores’ most of it in his head – Dan has personal recollections of ‘time’ spent in the company of the Honorees and/or their representatives , and entertained the full room with brief stories of same , including the many occasions when he and those comrades shared meals of a different type in surroundings that were not as salubrious !

A section of the crowd at the 2012 CABHAIR Testimonial.

RSF President , Des Dalton , Joe O’Neill (Donegal) and Mary Ward
were amongst those who shared memories of past engagements with the Honorees and it was clear to all present that the six people being honoured had put their lives ‘on hold’ in order to ensure the survival of the Republican Movement : jobs/careers had been turned down and/or lost , family life had suffered and personal socialising always involved and included the promotion of Irish Republicanism.

Some of those in attendance at the CABHAIR Testimonial.

A few of the many items for sale at the CABHAIR ‘shop’.

Crowd section….

….and another few of them !

Myself and the other ‘1169..’ rep really enjoyed ourselves in such great company , we met old friends (hello South Armagh!) got introduced to new friends and heard the history of each of the Honorees , from the stage and in conversation with them before and after they were presented with their piece of Belfast Crystal – and we can confirm that, once again , CABHAIR has made a very fitting and wise choice in the calibre of those it made the award to. A full report and more pics will be published in the June 2012 issue of ‘Saoirse’ , which goes to print on Wednesday 30th May next. And I’ll leave it at that for now – considering that I only got home from the Testimonial at 3pm this afternoon , you’re doing well that I’m able to put this wee piece together….!

Thanks for reading,

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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