Michael McGrath died for Ireland at Pickardstown, Tramore on January 7th 1921.Shrine

1971 Jan 3rd 50th Anniversary

Fallen Heroes
“We mourn their loss, 
God rest their souls today,
Brave men who for Ireland
gave their lives away"


In the townsland of Ballinattin, which is not far removed from Pairc Mhic Craith a red-brick Shrine stands today as a memorial to all the County Waterford men who gave their lives for Ireland in the War of Independence. One of these was Micheal Mac Craith of Poleberry whose name lives on in the Club and Gaelic Field in Tramore, which have been named after him. He was one of the brave Volunteers who took part in the Pickardstown Ambush of three lorry loads of British troops around midnight on the 7th January 1921. In the closing stages of the fight he received his fatal wounds, as also did Tom O'Brien of Dunhill. "Mikie" as he was popularly known, was a keen sportsman and played Gaelic football with Ballytruckle. Indeed, it is recalled that he played in a match against Rathgormack in Tramore in 1919, the pitch being situated a few hundred yards from Pairc Mhic Craith, which proudly bears his name.
He was a carpenter by trade and every Christmas he volunteered to erect the Crib for the Ursuline Nuns in Waterford. At the Inquest held in Waterford, the Medical Officer of Health said that identification was proven by two Carpenter and Joiners Union Cards found on the body with the name Michael McGrath on each. Death in his opinion was due to a gunshot wound to the head. After Mass in St. John's Church his body was taken to Carbally Churchyard for interment in the family plot with his parents, Thomas and Annie McGrath. Thousands lined the streets to pay their final respects to the first Waterford City man to fall in the War of Independence. He was only 25 years of age. It is but fitting that the loud plaudits still re-echo from Pairc Mhic Craith across the glen which in 1921 echoed back the rumble of gunfire, while the small red-brick Shrine in the distance bears silent witness to the glories of the past.