Following on from the opening was a speech given by a 6th Year student, Odhran Stynes, about the life of Brother Kerrigan, a copy of which is attached below.
Ned Passed his Leaving certificate examination with Honors in 1954 and was one of three who moved to the local Vocational school to learn shorthand and typing in September '54.
Early in 1955 Ned joined the Christian Brothers in England. In religion he took the name Brother Senan and in so doing expressed in a profound way his love of Enniscorthy and its founding, teaching first Christian.
He spent 15 years teaching at St.Anselms ,Liverpool, and had teaching assignments at Stoke on Trent and other centres run by his Order in the North of England. In 1990 Brother Senan went to Sierra Leone, West Africa, chosen by the Christian Brothers to lead their Formation Community in the Pastoral Centre, Bo, some 50 miles from Freetown. He was principally involved in the care of the mentally handicapped and was a frequent visitor to the Gondama Refugee Camp where he helped organize learning schemes for the children there.
He made a very great impact on a scattered poverty stricken community where tribal and civil war was endemic.
On his final April morning , brother senan set out, driving a minibus, accompanied by Brother Benedict Kamara, to attend a meeting of the regional chapter of the Christian Brothers in Freetown. There was another car following. They drove through several villages which had been burned by rampaging gunmen. They were aware of the danger.
without warning their vehicle was strafed with bullets on both sides. Brother senan was hit in the stomach and arm. The second car drove past and both it and its occupants escaped the ambush. Brother Senan got from his seat and with Brother Benedict and was made to lie down on the roadway. He had his watch and his wallet taken. Brother Benedict , who was unhurt, had his shoes and upper garments taken.
when the gunmen learned the identity of the victim they were visibly shaken and lost no time in departing and hiding themselves in the bush. They gave the impression that they had made a serious mistake, but there was no effort to assist the stricken man.
Showing remarkable courage and determination , Brother Senan, assisted by his barefooted friend, walked more than a mile. Senan was bleeding profusely, and finally they both knew he could go no further. He sat under a large plumtree, and encouraged Benedict to go for help. It was 20 miles to the nearest town, Masika, and the young African brother completed that journey by evening. But the first news he received when he arrived at the military
Headquarters in Masika was that the body of his superior had been found. Brother Senan Kerrigan had bled to death.
At his own request he was buried amongst the people he had come to love. He died a martyr at the hands of those he had travelled thousands of miles to assist.