New park to honour Min Ryan – Wexford People, April 28 2016

A new 18-acre park at Killeens is to be named in honour of local woman Min Ryan who played a key role in the 1916 Rising.

At a meeting of Wexford Borough District yesterday (Monday), the members welcomes and unanimously approved the proposal to name the neighbourhood park after Mary Josephine (Min) Ryan of Tomcoole.

They were joined by Min Ryan’s son Professor Risteárd Mulcahy and her grandson, businessman Richard Mulcahy and granddaughter Lisa, who offered a generous donation of €200,00 towards the new park. Wexford Credit Union will also support the new development.

Planning approval was recently granted for the €1.2m park by Wexford County Council. It’s expected that construction will commence later this year and be completed by Autumn 2017.

A qualified teacher, Min and her family were deeply involved with the Rising. She established the London brand of Cumann na mBan. During the Rising, Min and her sister Phyllis acted as couriers to the GPO garrison. Min became romantically involved with one of the signatories of the proclamation, Seán McDermott, and visited him in his cell shortly before his execution.

In 1919 Min married Richard Mulcahy, who was second-in-command to Thomas Ashe in the defeat of the armed Royal Irish Constabulary at Ashbourne during the Easter Rising. Following a period at the Frongoch internment camp, Mulcahy took command in the pro-Treaty forces in the Civil War. He was leader of Fine Gael from 1944-48.

Richard Mulcahy and his sister Lisa, and their father Risteárd attended the Borough Council meeting where they presented an account of Min’s life.

‘Our family is delighted to have the opportunity to support Wexford’s newest neighbourhood park and in doing so, pay tribute to a dynamic and progressive-thinking woman who played such a prominent role in Irish politics,’ said Richard.

Risteárd added: ‘My mother Min always maintained a keen sense of pride in her county of birth throughout through her life and I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to her than to have her name associated with this wonderful public amenity located only a short distance from where she was born and grew up.’

Mayor of Wexford Councillor Ger Carthy spoke of the Ryan family’s legacy and on behalf of Wexford County Council, thanked the Mulcahy family.

‘The Min Ryan Park will be a lasting testimony to Min, her husband Richard, her siblings and wider family and will be a fantastic public amenity to be enjoyed by all for decades to come,’ he said.

Wexford County Council CEO Tom Enright described the naming of the park as a ‘timely acknowledgement’ of Min Ryan and her siblings as one of Wexford’s most illustrious families.

(First published in the Wexford People: print edition. Also available online at: http://www.wexfordpeople.ie/news/new-park-to-honour-min-ryan-34661836.html)

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