Chief Justice Susan Denham highlights role of women during Easter week
A NUMBER of simultaneous readings of the Proclamation have taken place in Dublin to commemorate its inception 100 years ago.
Volunteers who manned barricades at the Four Courts during the Easter Rising have been praised by a Chief Justice for their compassion and bravery.
Mrs Justice Susan Denham also highlighted the role women played on Easter week, 1916.
She laid a wreath outside the Four Courts at lunchtime with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and a representative of the families of1916 survivors.
The proclamation was then read by a member of the defence forces at locations that were key to the rebels’ efforts 100 years ago.
Readings also took place at Moore Street and the Royal College of Surgeons on St Stephen’s Green at 1.15pm to commemorate Padraig Pearse’s first reading of the Proclamation outside the GPO on Easter Monday in 1916.
“What struck me in reminding myself of this historic event was the care shown by the volunteers to those captured from the enemy force,” said Chief Justice Denham.
“Not only did the Volunteers treat them humanely here in the Four Courts, but the lives of many were saved by the Volunteers when a water mains burst and those in the cells of the Bridewell were about to drown.
“Bravery must extend to doing the right thing - to being humane. Our Four Courts Volunteers certainly showed that bravery, not just in fighting, but in respect for those they overcame.”
She highlighted the strategic role the Four Courts site played during the rising but also pointed to the fact the role women and children played in the rising often goes unnoticed.
“The Proclamation of the Irish Republic was addressed to Irishmen and Irishwomen.
“The Rising, and the following nation building, owes much to the role played by women. Our recollections throughout this day include that often forgotten role - of the 276 women recorded as having an active part in the Rising.
“We also remember the 40 children who died that week. And, of course, the civilians - who died as collateral to the fighting - or who were singled out and slain for no good reason. Close to us here 15 men were killed in what was simply a massacre.”