Friday 9 December 2016

Bridge officially named after Rising hero Kent

Published 03/05/2016 | 02:30

Thomas Kent on the left and William Kent being led across Fermoy Bridge in May 1916.
Thomas Kent on the left and William Kent being led across Fermoy Bridge in May 1916.

One hundred years after he was led handcuffed and barefoot across a bridge to be executed, Easter Rising patriot Thomas Kent had the bridge formally dedicated in his family's honour.

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The grainy black and white photograph of the 50-year-old being led across the imposing stone bridge by the River Blackwater in Fermoy, bound for Cork Prison where he was executed one week later, has become one of the most iconic Easter Rising images.

Proudly

Flanked by British soldiers armed with Lee Enfield rifles and led by a solitary British officer, Kent kept his head proudly held high despite being bound and forced to march barefoot.

While the bridge has for decades been known locally as 'Kent Bridge' due to a US-funded monument to the Kent family on its southern shore, it was only formally rededicated as such yesterday. Councillor Frank O'Flynn said the dedication was a fitting tribute to a man who sacrificed everything in the name of Irish freedom.

As part of the Easter Rising commemorations, a special plaque was also unveiled to Thomas McDonagh in Fermoy, with the patriot's great grand-niece, Michelle Drysdale, present as guest of honour.

Despite Irish Volunteer contingents being on stand-by in Cork city, Kerry and Wexford, the only serious fighting in Easter 1916 took place in Dublin and at Castlelyons, north Cork.

Kent, who resisted an attempt by the Royal Irish Constabulary to seize arms from his farmhouse on May 2-3, was the only rebel executed outside Dublin.

Irish Independent

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