Monday 5 December 2016

€1.2m Collins museum opens as flags raised to freedom nationwide

David Kearns

Published 25/04/2016 | 02:30

Great grand-niece Ruth Collins, from Cape Cod in the US, poses with the bust of her great grand-uncle Michael Collins at the opening of the museum in Clonakilty. Photo: Denis Boyle
Great grand-niece Ruth Collins, from Cape Cod in the US, poses with the bust of her great grand-uncle Michael Collins at the opening of the museum in Clonakilty. Photo: Denis Boyle

Thousands gathered across Ireland in ceremonies dedicated to their local heroes who gave their lives in pursuit of Irish freedom.

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Flag-raising ceremonies were held in Longford, Louth, Roscommon and Waterford, while in Cork, a new €1.2m museum dedicated to Michael Collins was opened in Clonakilty.

The Irish leader's grandniece, Emer O'Sullivan, from Inniscarra, was among those in attendance for the new museum's grand opening.

Among the site's exhibitions is a section dedicated to his fiancée, Kitty Kiernan.

On Saturday, hundreds retraced the steps of the 400 or so volunteers who took up arms and marched on Macroom 100 years ago.

Elsewhere in the rebel county, the Public Museum in Cork city opened a special exhibition to honour the Corkmen who took part in the Rising.

Other remembrance events included the laying of a wreath at the opening of a memorial garden at the Civic Offices in Limerick City.

A parade to City Hall in Sligo ended with the reading of the Proclamation, and a special reception took place in Sligo Park Hotel for descendants of those local families who were involved in the fighting.

The Roscommon County Youth Theatre held three performances over the weekend of Catherine Sheridan's new play 'If I was in the GPO we would have won' to commemorate the area's volunteers.

Members of the reservist Defence Forces joined retired Irish UN veterans and representatives from local clubs for a march through Cavan Town.

And Thomas Traynor, who was executed in Mountjoy Gaol in April 1921, was remembered in his native Carlow with the unveiling of a 'Flame of Liberty' bowl. While across the Atlantic, several thousand Irish and Irish-Americans gathered in New York for the official US commemoration.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly and Irish Ambassador to the US Anne Anderson were present as the Irish tricolour was raised and the Proclamation read at Battery Park complex in Manhattan.

Irish Independent

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