Thursday 19 October 2017

Connolly: 'We must remember 1916 in 2017 too'

President Michael D.Higgins with John Connolly from Bray,Co.Wicklow,a grandson of James Connolly at the presentation of the 1916 Rising Oral History Collection. Photo: Tom Burke
President Michael D.Higgins with John Connolly from Bray,Co.Wicklow,a grandson of James Connolly at the presentation of the 1916 Rising Oral History Collection. Photo: Tom Burke
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Relatives of those who fought during the Easter Rising in 1916 are worried that it will all be forgotten about next year.

James Connolly's grandson, John Connolly, said that he is concerned that we are not doing enough to preserve our history.

Mr Connolly said that the centenary celebrations should not be allowed to die off.

"I don't worry about 2016. I worry about 2017," said Mr Connolly. "It is all over and what is going to be there? I know young men who don't know that there was a rising in 1916," he added.

His father, Roddy, also fought in the GPO during the Easter Rising as a 15-year-old alongside James Connolly.

John said that it was important that people continued to tell the stories of 1916. However, despite his family's role in the rising, he said he heard few stories at home growing up.

"Well, a 15-year-old boy, being shot at and shooting back must have been a traumatic experience," he said.

He was speaking as an oral history of the1916 Rising was being presented to the National Library of Ireland, attended by President Michael D Higgins.

Irish Independent

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