News 1916

Thursday 8 December 2016

Ceremony remembers trio who tipped off the world about 1916

Graham Clifford

Published 18/04/2016 | 02:30

Austin and Diarmuid Ring unveil the commemorative stone at the cable station on Valentia Island, Kerry, honouring Timothy and Eugene Ring and Rosalie Rice. Photo: Valarie O’Sullivan
Austin and Diarmuid Ring unveil the commemorative stone at the cable station on Valentia Island, Kerry, honouring Timothy and Eugene Ring and Rosalie Rice. Photo: Valarie O’Sullivan

It was one of the most significant acts of the week of the Easter Rising, but it didn't happen in the heart of the capital - but on an island hundreds of miles away.

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On Easter Monday morning 1916, two young brothers working at the cable station on Valentia Island in Kerry sent a transatlantic message to New York to say the rebellion had started.

It meant that the world learned of the insurrection before the British did.

On Valentia Island yesterday, islanders turned out to commemorate the role played by the Ring brothers, Timothy and Eugene, who sent the message to John Devoy, the leader of Clan Na Gael in America, and Rosalie Rice, their cousin who worked in the post office in Kenmare and transmitted the initial message to Valentia.

Devoy received the coded message: "Tom operated on successfully today" signed "Margaret O'Sullivan".

Amongst those gathered were Diarmuid Ring, a son of Timothy, and Austin Ring, a son of Eugene, who unveiled a commemorative stone.

The trio were convicted of high treason, a crime that was punishable by death, but the international outcry caused by General Maxwell's execution of the Easter Week rebels meant they were imprisoned instead.

Irish Independent

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