A reception for an Irish-born Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross will take place this weekend.
The Commemoration Ceremony for the highly revered Martin O’Meara will take place at the Great War Memorial in Lorrha at 10.00am, followed by an Ecumenical Service at Saint Ruadhan’s Church.
The Victoria Cross, awarded to O’Meara in 1917 by King George V for his service in the First World War, is the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded and will be displayed adjacent to the Dominican Abbey throughout the day.
Representatives from the Australian Embassy in Ireland, Australian Army and Australian Museum authorities will be in attendance before the Victoria Cross makes its return to the Army Museum of Western Australia in Fremantle.
Ger O’Meara, one of the organisers, told Tipp FM that the Lorrha parishioner’s legacy still lives on at home and abroad to this day:
“When he died in 1935, he left a legacy for the re-roofing of the Dominican Abbey. Now, his money didn’t go anywhere near the cost of rebuilding the Abbey, so it was used instead to build a small school in Redwood parish, which is still in continuous use.
“He’s arguably the only non-native Australian who was awarded the Victoria Cross. A native Irish man, very attached to his native state left a legacy of re-roofing the Abbey, which was close to his heart. His Victoria Cross is treasured in Australia. If you go into the National Army Museum in Fermantle, the very first thing you’ll see is a cabinet of Martin O’Meara of his Victoria Cross.”