Tuesday 12 December 2017

Memorial wall unveiled with names of all who died in Rising

Children unveil the memorial. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Children unveil the memorial. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Taoiseach Enda Kenny lays a wreath as troops stand in honour of those whose names are listed on the memorial. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Enda Kenny with Thomas Murphy from Fairview, now living in Trim, Co Meath whose great uncle Thomas Meleady died during the 1916 Rising. Photo: Colm Mahady
Gardaí on duty at Glasnevin Cemetery yesterday. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Martin Grant

They came to Dublin's city of the dead to honour all those who lost their lives during the Easter Rising.

A memorial wall was unveiled at Glasnevin Cemetery, with hundreds gathering for the unveiling of the monument and an interfaith service.

However, scuffles marred the beginning of the ceremony, with a few protesters rallying outside the cemetery.

A small group of people opposed to the monument -because it includes deceased British military - rallied outside the cemetery, holding republican flags.

The remembrance wall is a tribute to all those - Irish and British military and civilians - who lost their lives 100 years ago in the Rising.

Without distinction between the two nationalities, the wall lists the names of everyone who died during the 1916 conflict, in chronological and alphabetical order.

The necrology wall lists the names of 485 people identified as having died in the Rising, including 262 civilians, 107 British soldiers, 58 rebels and 13 policemen.

Local children from nearby schools unveiled the wall, while acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny laid a wreath during the event, which was part of the official State commemorations.

Representatives from the Jewish, Islamic and various Christian faiths - including Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin - were also invited to lead an act of commemoration.

Other notable figures at the ceremony included former Taoisigh Bertie Ahern and John Bruton, RTÉ star Joe Duffy and acting Transport Minister Pascal Donohoe.

Thomas Murphy (85), whose great-uncle Thomas Meleady died during the Rising, described the service as "emotional".

"Meleady was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Mr Murphy said, adding: "It is an honour and an absolutely privilege to commemorate my relative."

Glasnevin Trust chief executive George McCullough said it was important to "reconcile and reflect".

"A lot of those people (who died) wouldn't have had a funeral, particularly those buried in the mass graves. They never had a funeral, but they had a funeral today," he added.

All of the main faiths in Ireland came together to pray for all of the people who died in the conflict and prayed for them equally.

He added: "Hopefully people will come, look at it and take from it exactly what is it."

Despite the peaceful service, gardaí arrested a 15-year-old following a clash between officers and protesters outside the cemetery.

Fireworks were also set alight and thrown at gardaí, while individuals also attempted to burn the Union Jack flag in a brief clash with authorities.

One protester also played rebel songs into a megaphone in a bid to disturb the service being held inside the cemetery.

Republican Sinn Féin, which was one of the groups present, refused to condemn the protest.

The group's president, Des Dalton, said that a "mix of groups" was involved.

Meanwhile, Glasnevin has confirmed that a spelling mistake on the monument will be "corrected immediately".

It was unveiled as "Eírí Amach Na Cásca 1916".

But eagle-eyed Irish speakers said the word 'Eírí' had been spelt incorrectly with the misplacing of a fada. It should actually be spelt 'Éirí'.

Irish Independent

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