'Forgotten children' of 1916 Rising are recalled in moving ceremony
Published 06/05/2015 | 02:30
They have been the forgotten victims of the 1916 Rising - and until recently there was little recognition of the 40 children who died during events almost a century ago.
Aged between two and 16, until recently nobody knew exactly how many children died during the Rising.
However, St Patrick's Parish church in Ringsend in Dublin recently hosted a special remembrance Mass attended by over 200 people, among them descendants of those children killed. They were there to pay their respects, and remember some of the innocent victims of a seminal event in Irish history.
Forty shimmering candles, each bearing the name of a child who died, formed the centrepiece of the ceremony. In a poignant moment - and to the haunting strains of 'A Clare Benediction' performed by the RTE children's choir, Cór na nÓg - the candles were brought to the altar by children from the nearby St Patrick's boys and girls national school.
President Michael D Higgins, who attended the commemorative Mass, said these "forgotten victims of 1916" shared more than youth. Also in attendance were the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, Communications Minister Alex White, and Children's Minister James Reilly.
RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy, who organised the event, said he would like a memorial erected inscribed with the names of all the civilians killed during the Rising. "The speech by the President was the first recognition by the State of those children; these kids must never be forgotten," he said.