Duffy's Cut Burial Ceremony, Philadelphia, March 9th 2012

Today, Saturday March 2nd marks another major milestone in the journey to bring peace to the 57 brave souls that lost their lives at Duffy’s Cut.  John Ruddy, an 18 year old boy, who left Ireland in April of 1832 has finally come home.  At 3 pm (10am eastern time) in Ardara, Co. Donegal John Ruddy will be laid to rest.

John left Ireland aboard the John Stamp full of hope and dreams.  The John Stamp set sail from the port of Derry in April of 1832 arriving in Philadelphia in June.  John and 56 of his comrades had the misfortune to go to work for an Irish contractor named Philip Duffy and all were dead by August of 1832.

On March 9th of last year five other sets of remains were buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery.   John is the first man to be returned to Ireland.  Although their lives were way too short maybe their sacrifice and story can make them immortal.  Their story will be told as one of triumph.

It will be told of how 57 refused to remain buried underground despite every effort to cover up, hide, avoid and walk away from.  How 57 sacrificed their lives so that countless millions could follow them and have a chance.  How 57 lives were wiped out by ignorance and hate and how they are a lesson to all to not repeat the sins of our fathers.

Duffys Cut

John Ruddy was fortunate to be accompanied home by some of the great champions of his cause.  Bill and Frank Watson, Earl Schandelmeier and Matt Paterson will represent all of us proudly as John is lowered down.

There is an Irish saying “Maireann an chraobh ar an bhfál ach ní mhaireann an lámh do chuir” which translates to “the branch lives on the hedge but the hand that planted it be dead.”  The men and women of Duffy’s Cut may be dead but their story and their cause shall live on.

So as we finish let us take a moment to bow our head for John Ruddy and let us remember that 50 of John’s friends still lay buried, covered in 30’ of Malvern dirt.  These men need to be set free and now is the time to do it.

You can sign the Duffys Cut Petition here – DUFFYS CUT PETITION