Friday 24 November 2017

WATCH: Ceremonies mark 100th year since executions of Rising leaders Pearse, Clarke and MacDonagh

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

The first commemoration to mark the execution of 1916 Rising leaders took place amid the sombre surrounds of the Stonebreakers' Yard in Kilmainham Gaol.

Three individual moving ceremonies were held to honour Padraig Pearse, Thomas Clarke and Thomas MacDonagh – who were all put to death by firing squad on this day 100 years ago.

A member of the Capuchin Friars from Church Street took part in the events, reading from the memoirs of the individual friar who attended to each of the men prior to their execution.

Acting Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly addressed the first ceremony,which was held for Padraig Pearse, while Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Joe McHugh attended the ceremony for Thomas Clarke.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan spoke at the event held commemorating the execution of Thomas MacDonagh.

Minister Kelly said that the common thread uniting all of the leaders is that they believed in Ireland as a sovereign independent State and pledged their lives to that cause.

“Now, one hundred years on, we are challenged to live up to the ideals and aspirations of Pearse and the other leaders for an Ireland that ‘declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation'.

“A nation that cherishes all of its children equally,” Minister Kelly added.

In remembering Pearse, he said we should also reflect on the fact “that he was well aware of the effect that his execution would have on his family and in particular on his mother. In his powerful poem , ‘The Mother,’ he outlines the complexity of the emotions shared by all families who lost their loved ones in the struggle,”  the Labour Deputy Leader said.

Relatives of Pearse and MacDonagh were in attendance however a representative from the Kilmainham museum laid a wreath in honour of Clarke, with none of his relatives present.

A minute of silence was held for each, ended by a muffled drum beat before a pipers lament was played, followed by the Last Post.

The National Flag was then hoisted to full mast and the Reveille sounded after which the National Anthem was played.

Padraig Pearse’s Grand-nephew, Patrick Pearse, who laid the wreath on behalf of his relative said he was “deeply honoured” to do so.

Ceremonies commemorating the execution of Joseph Plunkett, Edward Daly, Michael O’Hanrahan and William Pearse will be held tomorrow followed by John MacBride on Friday.

Con Colbert, Eamonn Ceannt, Michael Mallin and Sean Heuston will be commemorated on May 8 while Seán MacDiarmada and James Connolly will be remembered on May 12.

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