Rest in Peace Liam Sutcliffe, the Volunteer who Blew up Nelsons Pillar! – By Naoise Conarain

Liam Sutcliffe

The unrepentant Fenian, the unapologetic Republican, the Legend!


The man who commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Easter 1916 Rising by bombing the statue of British plunderer, Admiral William Nelson, a symbol that had stood so boastfully over the Irish population as a reminder of British imperialisms continued subjugation of us as a nation. Liam loved to tell that story without one bit of regret for his actions and rightfully so! Whilst many of today’s self-proclaimed republicans apologise for their past actions Liam knew what he fought for which was the liberation of Ireland and was in no way ashamed of it. Someone who apologises for revolutionary actions he has committed in the past is certain now to side with and be in the pocket of the oppressor, but not Liam, he remained true to his ideals and to the concept that the Irish revolutionary struggle remained unfinished business.

An active Volunteer operating in the ranks of the IRA during operation Harvest shortly after he enlisted in 1954, to breaking away from the IRA and joining the Joe Christie group during the border campaign and then joining Saor Eire in the 1970’s. When his physical fight against the crown forces and their illegal occupation of our land was over Liam still did not step away from the Republican community, instead, he marched proudly with his shoulders back and his head held high in colour parties to commemorate our fallen comrades. On one such occasion during the Saoradh Easter commemoration in Derry earlier this year, Liam was part of the colour party leading the march and whilst on the bus travelling to Derry we were pulled over by the SDU unit of An Garda for no reason other than harassment. It just shows that even in his later years, the forces of the Freestate still feared his presence.

There is one photo of Liam standing under a lamp post with the letters IRA above his head taking only this year. This depicts exactly where his loyalty lay right until his dying day. May he rest in peace and wake up in the company of all his comrades who have also given their lives for Irish Liberation.


Naoise Conarain is a Saoradh Activist from Dublin