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Irish rebel’s headstone to be blessed on Easter Monday

William Ryan

Freedom fighter: The headstone of William Ryan.

IRISH rebel William Ryan has received a headstone to honour his role in Ireland’s independence battle nearly 60 years after being buried in an unmarked grave.

Mr Ryan was one of the rebels who fought as a volunteer in the Dublin GPO during Easter Week 1916, and later in Ireland’s War of Independence.

He migrated to Brisbane in 1926 and worked as a barman in various hotels in Brisbane including for a substantial time in the Alliance Hotel in Spring Hill.

He died after a long illness in 1958 but until last year, the site of his burial had been concealed.

At the request of Mr Ryan’s relative in Ireland, the Irish Australian Association of Queensland located the brave rebel’s grave in Brisbane and held a commemorative service for the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin.

The ISAQ appealed for funds to raise a headstone on Mr Ryan’s grave and after one year it has now been secured.

On Easter Monday this year, 101 years after the Easter Rising in Dublin, the ISAQ will hold a short ceremony at Nudgee Cemetery to bless and dedicate the headstone.

ISAQ secretary Joseph Thompson said the ceremony would “pay tribute to someone who bravely stepped forward to help Ireland on the road to independence”.

“We wish to acknowledge also Peter Wrafter, of T Wrafter and Son Stonemasons, for his generous assistance in our project,” Mr Thompson said.

For details about the ceremony or to share a memory of Mr Ryan with the ISAQ, call the co-ordinator on 0432 087 328.

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