Duffy’s Cut Memorial 2016

Duffy’s Cut Memorial 2016

25276889610_53243b3b62_zA large crowd gathered Sunday at West Laurel Hill Cemetery to remember the 57 Irish immigrants from Donegal, Tyrone, and Derry who came to work on the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad in June 1832, and who died six weeks after they arrived on a lonely stretch of track in Malvern.

Brothers Bill and Frank Watson have led the archeological research leading to the discovery of their hidden grave, and they continue to unravel the secrets of the victims—including the lone woman, Catherine Burns, whose remains were repatriated to her native County Tyrone last July. Among the speakers: Bill and Frank Watson, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and Donegal Association President Frank McDonnell.

Given the ignominious death of the Irish immigrants and the prejudice they endured, the memorial ceremony brought to mind many of the issues currently being raised during the current presidential campaign.

“Let us not forget that when somebody says something ugly about newcomers in this country today, they’re talking about these men,” said Mayor Kenney, turning toward the large Celtic cross memorial. “They’re talking about my ancestors. They’re talking about your ancestors.”

We have close to 25 photos from the ceremony, and one video that sums it all up.

Gathering at the memorialBill WatsonMayor Jim KenneyAttentive crowdFrank McDonnell, president, Donegal Association of PhiladelphiaMemorial board membersWalt Hunter gets a laughFrank WatsonThe Watson BrothersHonor guardFrank and Bill WatsonFlag bearersHonoring the men--and one woman--of Duffy's CutMayor Jim Kenney arrivesLaying flowers at the Duffy's Cut MemorialA noisy saluteMarita Krivda PoxonMarching from the Duffy's Cut memorial ceremonyThe gentsMike BoyceBlackthorn, unpluggedVince Gallagher and Sean McMenaminJohn McGroary and Mike BoyceTaking a load off their feet

Author: Jeff Meade

Jeff is one of the founding editors of irishphiladelphia.com. More details.

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