Sunday 18 March 2018

State funeral for 1916 Rising leader

Thomas Kent being led away by a British soldier
Thomas Kent being led away by a British soldier
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A full State funeral will be given to an Easter Rising patriot almost 100 years after he was executed by British forces and buried in the grounds of an Irish prison.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed a State funeral for Thomas Kent (51) after DNA tests confirmed the body exhumed from the grounds of Cork Prison last June was that of the patriot and Irish Volunteer member.

The rebel will now be honoured with a State funeral on September 18.

His family, who still live in the Castlelyons area of north Cork, want him buried in the family plot beside his siblings rather than in Glasnevin.

Mr Kenny said the honour was the least owing to Thomas Kent who was one of 16 men executed for their role in the 1916 rising - but one of only two (with Roger Casement) executed outside Dublin.

"The Government is very glad to offer this honour of a State funeral in memory of the sacrifice of the late Thomas Kent," Mr Kenny said.

"Thomas Kent was one of many young men who, in pursuit of the goal of Irish freedom, paid the ultimate sacrifice."

The Taoiseach said the funeral would ensure that Kent "is never again described as a forgotten leader of 1916.

Irish Independent

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