Irish Time

Monday, January 28, 2013

REA BRINGS A REAL PROVO HOME









Dolours Price was carried home by her former husband of 17 years Stephen Rea and their two sons Danny and Oscar, at her funeral in Belfast today. Dolours sister Clare and brother Damian Price were among the thousands of mourners, many of whom could not attend because of British internment and profiling. Marian her sister was prevented from attending, by the British as was Dolours herself previously deprived of attending her mothers funeral.
Dolours was buried in Milltown cemetery, with full military honours, in her native west Belfast, after requiem mass at St Agnes's church in Andersonstown. Dolours and Marian known worldwide as the Price sisters, went on hunger strike and were force-fed for 200 days. Both sisters never really recovered from the ordeal.
Father Raymond Murray, who was prison chaplain to them, told mourners that Dolours Price and her sister Marian were like twins, saying: "Dolours's family can relate her nature and her talent, both of which is outside the knowledge and understanding of those who did not know her personally. She was clever and witty, full of fun and held people enthralled by her conversation."

At the graveside in Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast, socialist Eamon McCann delivered the oration, telling the crowds the crowds hidden under umbrellas to avoid politcal internment: "If Dolours had a big fault, it was perhaps that she lived out too urgently the ideals to which so many others also purported to be dedicated.

"She was a liberator but never managed to liberate herself from those ideas. Sometimes we are imprisoned within ideals; sometimes in war atrocious things are done; sometimes hard things have to be done.

"Sometimes it is very difficult to handle the hard things that you felt compelled to do when you are soft-hearted at the core of your being. And Dolours was a soft-hearted person as well as a hard person in her politics."


Provisional Sinn Fein publicity chief Danny Morrison attended,along with MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey. Dolours Price along with her sister Marian, became disenchanted, with Provisional Sinn Féin's leadership of the Irish Republican Movement and believed the 'process' was a sellout. Black flags were placed on poles along the Andersonstown Road during the funeral. Her coffin, draped in the Tricolour, was carried from the family home a few hundred yards from the church. It was led by a lone piper playing Raglan Road. The chief celebrant was Msgr Raymond Murray. Also attending was Hugh Feeney, one of her former comrades.

Msgr Murray recalled in the homily how Dolours Price before joining the IRA, was involved in the civil rights movement, as a member of People's Democracy, and at the PD march in 1969, was attacked by loyalists at Burntollet. "She was thrown into the river when it was attacked," he further said that there was never a period since her imprisonment and force-fed hunger strike in prison in England, when she was not ill. He said she and Marian Price were like "bosom twins". He said Dolours Price was a woman of considerable talents, interested in the arts, literature and philosophy. "She was clever and witty and full of fun, and she held people in thrall by her conversation."
The funeral cortège made its way to Milltown Cemetery for her final physical interment, finally out of the clutches of heartless, savage, bigots, unlike her sister Marian's internment currently in British Occupied Ireland. Intelligent Irish republicans will not allow themselves to be drawn into uncalculated, reactionary action by the uncivilized British behaviour but it is another definition for a new generation, if one were needed, of the barbarity of British occupation in Ireland.
Dolours Price is Finally at Rest and her Spirit Free. She is now one of those eternal Irish women, who define the status of the Island of Ireland to take its pace among the nations of the world as an equal, rather than a British commoner class, backwater.



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