Monday 20 November 2017

Costumes, cannons and carts: locals follow the path of history

From left: Blessing Dada, Leah Smyth, Josh Gallagher, Francice Mougoue and Ella Ward at the Fingal 1916 commemorative day at Swords Castle. Photo: Frank McGrath
From left: Blessing Dada, Leah Smyth, Josh Gallagher, Francice Mougoue and Ella Ward at the Fingal 1916 commemorative day at Swords Castle. Photo: Frank McGrath
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Vintage cars, historic bikes, replica cannons and horses towing old bread vans filled the streets as the people of north county Dublin paid tribute the men and women of 1916.

Fingal and the surrounding areas played a vital role during the Rising 100 years ago.

Descendants of those who fought in the Rising took part in a cycle retracing their relatives' steps before commemorations got under way.

Rothaíocht na mBan, a group of female cyclists in period dress, came through Swords on High Nelly bikes before a special parade in the town.

Joanne Moody, from Volunteer Ireland, was one of those to take to a High Nelly yesterday.

"We took the exact route Mná na hÉireann took in 1916 from Brackenstown through Swords," she said.

Rita Hogan from Trim, Co Meath, said she did the cycle to commemorate Cumman na mBan and was sympathetic of their efforts.

"It was either this or a horse or donkey but they are very heavy and very uncomfortable."

Much of the rebel activity in North Dublin on Easter weekend 1916 revolved around the Fifth Battalion of the Irish Volunteers (Fingal Brigade).

Fingal's commemorative day paid tribute to the ­battalion with a variety of family-­orientated events in Swords.

A state ceremony saw a flag raised in the town as the ­Proclamation was read out. A wreath was also laid in ­memory of those who died during the Rising.

Irish Independent

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