Ex-soldier’s memorial to be reinstated

A plaque erected in honour of a former soldier is to be reinstated more than 30 years after his death.
Councillor Gerry Crawford says he will make it a priority in his year as chair of Lifford and Stranorlar Municipal District to have the memorial to Kevin MacIntyre renewed inside the former army barracks in Lifford.
The Fianna Fáil councillor says it is only fair and right that the previously unveiled tribute be restored now that the barracks complex is back in the custody of Donegal County Council.
The plans are being progressed with the co-operation of the MacIntyre family, Councillor Crawford has confirmed.
A well known community figure, Kevin MacIntyre held many roles throughout his life.
He was heavily involved with the Lifford community development organisation LATCH and was also a founding member of Highland Radio. Sadly though he did not live to hear the station go live, passing away on October 2, 1989, five months before Highland hit the airwaves.
In his earlier life he served in the FCA before joining the army in the mid-1970s.
He worked previously with Telecom Eireann and was seconded to the military as the army wanted someone with local knowledge. At the time the majority of soldiers were from outside the county.
Kevin MacIntyre was army captain at the time of his death at the age of 53. But such was his contribution to military and civilian life, the Defence Forces took the highly unusual step of naming one of their buildings ‘MacIntyre House’ in his honour.
On the final departure of soldiers in 2010 the memorial was taken down and presented to the MacIntyre family. They are in the process of having a new plaque made for the building.
Councillor Crawford said that while it is fitting that Kevin’s memory is cemented, so too should that of his late father Andrew.
Andrew MacIntyre was the first person in Donegal to hold the post of county librarian. Born in Creeslough in 1877 he served as a postman before becoming master of the workhouse in Dunfanaghy prior to his appointment as chief librarian.
Andrew reached national attention when in 1905 Pádraig Pearse represented Niall Mac Giolla Bhrighde in what was Pearse’s only court appearance as a barrister. Creeslough-born Mac Giolla Bhrighde had been fined for having his name displayed in “illegible” writing, namely Irish, on his donkey cart. The man who painted the name was Andrew MacIntyre.
“The MacIntyre family connection goes back a very long way, previous to the military establishment being here in Lifford,” said Councillor Gerry Crawford.
“The family name has been a part of society in this area going back to Andrew, the first county librarian, a man with a very noted place in Irish history through the case of Niall Mac Giolla Bhrighde and the defence of that case by Pádraig Pearse, his one and only appearance as a barrister.”
The MacIntyre name has further associations with Donegal County Council through Andrew’s other son, Eddie, who also worked as county librarian. And over the years many of the family have been employed by the local authority – Kevin’s brother James, Eddie’s daughter Mary, Geraldine and Martin MacIntyre, niece and nephew of Kevin, Kevin’s son Aidan for a short time and Kevin’s wife Mary who worked there for many years.
“The MacIntyre’s have played a very important part in Donegal County Council as librarians and keepers of our written heritage.
“I think it is only proper that the former army building now be named again the MacIntyre building,” Councillor Crawford said.

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