Saturday 24 March 2018

Tributes to those who died in fighting outside capital

Thomas Kent. Photo: National Library of Ireland
Thomas Kent. Photo: National Library of Ireland
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Tributes were paid to those who lost their lives in fighting that took place outside Dublin in Easter 1916.

Despite Irish Volunteer contingents being on standby in Cork city, Kerry, Wexford and other major centres, the only serious fighting in Easter 1916 took place in Dublin and at Castlelyons in north Cork.

Thomas Kent (50) and his brother Richard (41) died when they resisted an attempt by a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) contingent to seize arms from their Castlelyons farmhouse.

In the four-hour gun fight which erupted, senior RIC constable William Rowe was fatally wounded.

Richard was later shot and killed while trying to escape. Thomas was captured and executed in Cork Prison on May 9.

With Roger Casement, who was hanged in London for his role in attempting to smuggle German arms to the Easter Rising rebels through Kerry, Thomas Kent was the only rebel executed outside Dublin for the events of 1916.

Yesterday, newly elected Cork East TD Kevin O'Keeffe delivered the Easter commemoration oration at the Republican Plot in the old Kilcrumper Cemetery. "Ireland owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to these men," he said.

"The freedom that we enjoy today is a legacy to the sacrifice that these brave men made when they defied overwhelming odds and challenged the most powerful empire in the world."

Other events to mark Easter 1916 took place yesterday in Bantry, Macroom and Conna.

Irish Independent

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