Friday 30 September 2016

What was my great grand-dad doing in 1916?

Published 14/03/2016 | 02:30

Second-class students Max Priestley and Gráinne Ryan with their models of the GPO at Rathfarnham Educate Together School in Dublin. Photo: Colin O’Riordan. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Second-class students Max Priestley and Gráinne Ryan with their models of the GPO at Rathfarnham Educate Together School in Dublin. Photo: Colin O’Riordan. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

It took only a handful of pupils at Rathfarnham Educate Together primary school to tap into family roots and build a vivid picture of social and political life in Ireland in 1916.

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It includes the poignant tale of Saoirse Kavanagh's great grand-uncle John Traynor, who was only 17 when he was shot and killed on Easter Monday after taking up position for the Volunteers.

Leo Faulkner and Sam van Gelderen had great grandfathers who trained as fitters with CIE. While Leo's relation, Jack Gough, was a 'runner' during the Rising, in Sam's family, Lawrence Reid played no part in events.

Calum O'Riordan's great grand-uncle, Eugene Riordan, was among the tens of thousands of Irishmen who joined the British Army and went to France to fight in World War One.

From a wealthy Church of Ireland background in Co Longford, Holly Bond's great grandfather Francis Willoughby Bond was 15 back in 1916. He was still enjoying an education that took in both the English boarding school, Malvern College, and Trinity College.

These stories are recorded as part of the 1916 Ancestry Project for schools on the Department of Education's scoilnet.ie website.

They will be displayed for Proclamation Day commemorations tomorrow, along with other works created by pupils, including models of the GPO.

Irish Independent

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