Tricolour is finally raised two famous patriots
THE Tricolour was hoisted above the graves of our national heroes for the first time yesterday during the Easter Sunday commemoration ceremony at Glasnevin Cemetery.
For centuries, the most famous names from our Republican, political and cultural past have been laid to rest there.
But yesterday an unprecedented tribute was made to two of the dead who gave us the best-known symbols of our nationality.
They were Edward Hollywood, a silkweaver from the Liberties in Dublin, who brought the famous green, white and gold flag to Ireland from Paris in 1848.
The second was Peader Kearney, the man who co-wrote 'Amhran na bhFiann', 'The Soldier's Song', in 1907 with composer Patrick Heeney and which has since become our national anthem.
The Tricolour was raised near the entrance to the graveyard for the first time since it was opened in 1832.
Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan attended the historic occasion as a lone army piper played a lament in honour of the two men and wreaths were laid at their graves.
Historian Shane Mac Thomais, son of deceased broadcaster Eamon Mac Thomais, said the event was the first of many commemorations that are being planned to remember the birth of the nation.
"It's the first time the Tricolour's been raised here and that's kind of fantastic," he said.
"It's come up here on coffins and it's been folded and put away, but we've never actually put it up on a flagpole."
Mr Hollywood, who was born in 1814, was a leader of an early trade union for artisans and a member of the nationalist independence movement, the Irish Confederates.
He travelled with a delegation to Paris in 1848 to pass a message of congratulations from Ireland to the new Second French Republican government.
He returned to Ireland with a flag based on France's red, white and blue emblem, given to him by the French government. He died in 1873.
Peader Kearney was born in Lower Dorset Street in Dublin 10 years later.
A republican, he composed many rebel songs. He was a co-founder of the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and fought at Jacobs' biscuit factory in 1916.
He was a friend of Michael Collins, but later lost faith in the Free State and died in poverty in Inchicore in 1942.