Republican plot

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In Ireland, a republican plot is a cemetery plot where combatants or members of various Irish republican organisations are buried in a common grave, as opposed to being buried with family members. These plots may often also hold the bodies of casualties of earlier 19th and 20th-century campaigns by organisations such as the Fenians or the Old IRA. This is mostly with the approval of the family, although in some cases such as that of Frank Stagg, here was a dispute between family members, who wished to have the body buried in a family plot, and members of the IRA and other republican organisations.

Most republican plots are owned and maintained by a group known as the National Graves Organisation. Notable Republican plots include those at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin and Milltown Cemetery in Belfast, where the hunger-strikers Bobby Sands and Joe McDonnell are buried, and which was the site of an attack on a Republican funeral in 1988 by a loyalist paramilitary, Michael Stone.

Republican plots are often the focus of annual commemorations by Republican groups or political parties such as Fianna Fáil, the Workers' Party or the various offshoots of Sinn Féin. (Each group will commemorate its 'own' fallen, e.g. Fianna Fáil commemorations would focus exclusively on members of the 'Old IRA'.) The commemorations will take place on specific dates such as Easter Monday (to commemorate the Easter Rising), or on the anniversaries of the death of people buried in the relevant plot.

Annual commemorations also take place at the grave of Theobald Wolfe Tone at Bodenstown in County Kildare and at the burial site of the leaders of the Easter Rising at Arbour Hill Prison in Dublin, but these are not considered to be Republican plots in the sense used above.

Sources[edit]

'Memorials to the Casualties of Conflict: Northern Ireland 1969 to 1997' by Jane Leonard