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Monday 22 September 2014

Radar that located Richard III to help in search for rebel's remains

Published 10/02/2014 | 02:30

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The skeletal remains of King Richard III, found in a car park in Leicester, England.
The skeletal remains of King Richard III, found in a car park in Leicester, England.
Thomas Kent
Thomas Kent

HI-TECH ground penetrating radar (GPR) that discovered the body of England's most notorious ruler, King Richard III, is to be used to locate a 1916 Rising hero.

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Thomas Kent (51) was executed on May 9, 1916, and then buried in the yard of Cork Prison for his role in the failed rising.

He was buried in the prison yard by the British authorities, just metres from his execution site, despite the protests of his family who pleaded for the return of his body.

However, the precise location of the burial has been forgotten over the decades – though a plaque on the prison wall commemorates Kent.

He is now the only Easter Rising rebel who did not receive a proper burial.

The Kent family, historians and the Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen want the rebel's body to be exhumed and reinterred in a family plot in time for the 1916 centenary.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been urged to use his influence to obtain any British archival material about the execution and burial.

Campaigners now want permission from Justice Minister Alan Shatter for GPR to be used to scan the Cork Prison yard to narrow down the burial site.

The most successful use of GPR was in a Leicester car park in 2012, where it helped narrow down the excavation area in the search for the remains of King Richard III.

Kent was the only rebel outside Dublin, with the exception of Sir Roger Casement, to be executed for his role in the Easter Rising.

He also participated in the only armed rising outside the capital. That took place at the Kent family's farmhouse at Bawnard, outside Castlelyons in north Cork, when Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) officers and British Army personnel raided the property just hours after fighting began at the GPO in Dublin.

Thomas Kent and his brothers refused to surrender and a four-hour gun battle erupted. Thomas's brother, David, was badly wounded and his brother, Richard, was shot and killed.

Cork railway station is named in honour of Thomas Kent.

Irish Independent

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