ONE of Cork’s most influential sons, who remains largely anonymous in his native place, was commemorated by President Michael D Higgins at a plaque unveiling on Barrack Street.
Daniel Florence O’Leary is revered in Venezuela as a liberator having been second in command to Simon Bolivar in the wars of independence.
A large crowd gathered outside Broderick’s Pharmacy on Barrack Street where the plaque was unveiled, just yards from where O’Leary was born in 1802.
“It was a special moment for the Street and indeed for all those who have been keeping the flame of Daniel Florence O’Leary alive for many years,” explained Lord Mayor Cllr Mick Finn.
“Well done to local residents of O’Leary Place Mary and Colleen, Barry Broderick and the officials of Cork City Council - including Heritage Officer Niamh Twomey - for organising this plaque. It is so important for Cork to remember a man who is revered in Caracas and whose tomb is protected by 24-hour guard. Finally, we have a suitable memorial near his birthplace as well as the bust in Fitzgerald’s Park.”
The Lord Mayor also paid tribute to Richard Lynch and the DF Commemoration Committee that had been to the fore in highlighting O’Leary’s legacy.
“We remember too the late historian Michael O’Leary who was a relative of the General and who worked so hard to ensure he would be remembered in his native city.” A large crowd gathered for the event including Deputy Donnchadh O Laoghaire, Cllrs Fiona Kerins, Mick Nugent, Henry Cremin, Tony Fitzgerald, former Lord Mayor Catherine Clancy and UCC President Pat O’Shea.
President Higgins applauded those who had organised the plague ‘in memory of a great Corkman who had such a huge impact on Latin America’.