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Tom Crean Campaign – Declaration of Victory

On this day the Change platform campaign from which we sought for Ireland To Honour Tom Crean, declared a historic victory with the following post:

After eleven years of operating a campaign for Ireland to honour Tom Crean, five of which were spent pestering people to sign this petition, today, on the eve of the launch of RV Tom Crean, a vessel that represents reaching our goal, is, I believe, the most appropriate time to declare a historic victory.

Tomorrow, as the scientific vessel, RV Tom Crean, moors at the seaside harbour town of Dingle, a place often frequented by Tom Crean, we can all be extremely proud as every single one of us played a role in changing a government mindset that had left Tom Crean’s name out in the cold for over a century.

How the victory came about?

In April 2020, former board member of the Marine Institute, Lorcán Ó Cinnéide, made contact with me to outline a proposal that would fulfil our ambition for Ireland to honour Tom Crean.
In order to help strengthen his case he wanted to present each of the current board members with a copy of the biography I had written about Tom Crean so that they became familiar with his incredible story.
In his e-mail Lorcan declared his support for the campaign and he was among the first people to sign this petition after I created it in 2016.
The proposal was for a scientific vessel to be named in honour of Tom Crean. That the vessel was to be funded by the Irish government, meant that it would meet our ultimate goal for ‘Ireland to Honour Tom Crean’.
He asked me to keep details of the proposal confidential until such time it may prove successful.

Nine months later, on January 31st 2021 it was announced that the vessel would be named RV Tom Crean in honour of the great man – it was a day that Ireland finally honoured Tom Crean and we had secured the result we’d fought for over the course of 11 years. Incidentally, Tom Crean’s name remains under consideration for the Irish Navy flagship and it may be that one day we will be celebrating a second triumph.

Sadly, the descendants of Tom Crean allowed a personal issue with me to extend to all the supporters of the campaign and when the official press announcement was released by the Marine Institute, there was no mention of our campaign. The efforts of over 50,000 supporters from across the world to bring this day about had been totally disregarded.

As for Lorcán, well he nailed his colours to the Crean family mast and worked with them to pull off a hijack of a victory hard won by his fellow campaigners. You can read more about how it all unfolded here

I apologise to you all for this and just wish that this declaration of our campaign victory didn’t include the negatives that taints how it was presented to the public.

This was always a positive and happy campaign until the custodians, (Tom Crean’s grandchildren), became aware that a biography I had written about Tom Crean had been released without their approval of what I had written.
I had my reasons and my account of Crean’s life would never have seen the light of day had I complied with their wish to approve the content of my book. That it differed substantially to the only account of Crean’s life they subscribed to, I believe, had much to do with it.

One thing remains certain, it was every single person who supported this campaign, signed the petition and urged other to support it, who made this happen.
It would take a vessel the size of Dingle itself to fit all those who really deserve to be stood there on its deck tomorrow.

The day I hoped I’d be celebrating by standing beside fans of Tom Crean, happens to be the day before I attend the funeral of someone very close and sadly I can’t be there to clap my eyes upon this wonderful vessel, a symbol of Tom Crean’s greatness and one that finally represents official recognition from the country he loved.

I hope everyone has a fantastic day and that’s me signing off the Tom Crean campaign trail.
Please continue to follow the Tom Crean Story across social media and on the website, I may not post as often owing to my job and the hours I work but I’ll continue to tell his amazing story when time allows.

Thank you once again for helping bring about this historic day.

Best wishes – Tim Foley

Because of my research Tom Crean's story has changed so do please share the posts.
    Tom Crean Campaign - Declaration of Victory Tom Crean Book    

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