1916 Easter Rising Centenary – North Inner City Folklore Project
As part of the Centenary celebrations, HOPE participated in three local events, the hoisting of the flag at Liberty Hall on Palm Sunday (20th March 2016), then on Easter Monday (28th March) the unveiling of a plaque on Seán MacDermott Street, and the laying of a wreath at the GPO.
Local historian, Terry Fagan joins us in writing about the community’s commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising Centenary. Terry’s ‘North Inner City Folklore Project’ has been involved in these community events for over 20 years. Terry also offers historical walking tours of the North Inner City. At the centre of Terry’s tour is tenement life in the north inner city, with a particular focus on ‘The Monto’, old Dublin’s infamous red light district. However discussions with Terry are not limited to tenement life in the latter half of the 20th Century, other topics range from the ‘1913 Lockout’, the ‘1916 Rising’, the ‘War of Independence’ to the ‘Civil War’.
Liberty Hall – Hoisting of the Flag
The Liberty Hall ceremony on Palm Sunday (20th March 2016) was a reenactment of the raising of the flag. The flag was hoisted on Palm Sunday 1916 by a young girl from Gardiner Street named Molly O’Reilly. She was given the honour by James Connolly to hoist the flag over the building which he considered the first free part of Ireland. Molly O’Reilly went on to fight in City Hall and was a dispatched courier to the different garrisons around the City during the 1916 Easter Rising. She went on to take a leading role in the War of Independence as an undercover agent, gathering intelligence from Michael Collins’ top team of agents. She supplied the information that played a part in the event in Irish history known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 1920.
Seán MacDermott Street – Unveiling of the Plaque
On Easter Monday, 28th of March 2016, the North Inner City Folklore Project pays tribute to the 1916 leader Seán MacDermott with a plaque on the SVP building on the street named after the leader. At the rear of the building where the plaque was erected was the home of Patrick Heany, composer of the Irish national anthem – Amhrán na bhFiann (the Soldier’s Song). It was composed in his house c.1907. Patrick Heany died in abject poverty in 1911, he never lived to see his song become the battle hymn of the 1916 easter rising.
GPO – Laying of the Wreath
On Easter Monday, Constance Cowley, Daughter of Molly O’Reilly and a relation of the 1916 leader Seán MacDermott, lay a wreath at the GPO. The Proclamation was read out by a local woman named Una Shaw. A piper played a lament to the men and women of 1916.