US fundraiser for Thomas Clarke statue soon to be unveiled in Dungannon

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A fundraising event is being held in the US city of Philadelphia to help pay for a memorial to Thomas Clarke - soon to be unveiled in Dungannon.

The first signatory of the 1916 Proclamation, Clarke spent his childhood in the town.

A statue of the first signatory to the 1916 Proclamation has been commissioned for Dungannon

A statue of the first signatory to the 1916 Proclamation has been commissioned for Dungannon

The unveiling of the statue, for which money has reportedly been raised all over the world, is to take place during events on Sunday, May 1.

In a statement, Ruairí Monteith, chair of the Dungannon’s Thomas Clarke Society said commemorations to mark his centenary anniversary will also include a candlelight vigil on his 100th anniversary, Tuesday, May 3.

Mr Monteith said: “On Sunday May 1... there will be a major commemorative march and commemoration in the town. People are asked to assemble in Ann Street at 2pm.

“Thomas Clarke lived in Ann Street and Northland Row, Dungannon from a young age,” he added. “He always considered himself a Dungannon man... worked as a school teacher in the town and joined the IRB with his lifelong friend Willie John Kelly. Dungannon’s most famous son has been an inspiration to generations of Irish Republicans.”

A life-size statue of Thomas Clarke, which is said to be almost finished, will be unveiled at the May 1 commemorations, although it is understood a permanent site has not yet been chosen for the sculpture.

People are being asked to assemble at New Well Road at 9.30pm, for the torchlight vigil on Tuesday, May 3.

“The statue will be a magnificent tribute to Thomas Clarke,” added Mr Monteith.