Dozens of events are coming up across Cork over the Easter period
This week the eyes of the nation will be firmly focused on 1916 as we commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising.
Dublin will be a hive of activity but so too will counties throughout the country, not least the County of Cork. Easter Weekend in Cork will see events taking place in over 15 locations including Bantry, Eyeries, Kealkil and Rosscarbery in West Cork and further to the north: Macroom, Mourneabbey, Millstreet, Boherbue, Dromina, Kilbrin and Mallow.
The largest event of the weekend will undoubtedly be the Easter Monday State Ceremonial Event in Cork City on March 28, organised by Cork City Council and Cork County Council with the support of the Defence Forces and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
This event is the only Easter Rising State Ceremonial Event taking place in Munster and it is hoped that as many people as possible can attend.
The public are invited to assemble on the Grand Parade, Cork City, at 11.45am. Live music will feature performances by the Defence Forces Band, Peadar Ó Riada, Cór Chúil Aodha and Eimear Coughlan on harp.
The State Ceremonial Programme will commence at 12 noon. The programme will feature speeches by both the Lord Mayor of Cork City, Councillor Chris O' Leary and the Mayor of County Cork, Councillor John Paul O'Shea, a reading of the Proclamation by an Officer of the Defence Forces, a wreath laying ceremony, a minute's silence, a Piper's Lament, the Last Post, the raising of the National Flag, the Reveille played by a bugler from the Defence Forces and the National Anthem played by the Defence Forces Band.
At this time, there will be an Air Corps Fly Past (weather permitting) and following the formal State Ceremonial event, which finishes at 1:30 pm., Irish musicians will take to the stage for a short performance showcasing some of the best of Irish music.
Proceedings will close at approximately 2.30pm.
Easter Weekend will see a huge number of events taking place in the County of Cork, over two dozen, in fact.
In Dromina, events will take place from March 26-28, as part of the '1916-2016 Who We Are' Dromina Festival. This festival will feature a range of activities including an exhibition featuring the historic writings, materials and memorabilia relating to Dromina's involvement in the Rising.
There will also be a reflection wall where people can have their thoughts and feelings on the occasion posted.
Easter Saturday in Dromina will feature a Guided Tour of the Dromina Heritage Trail, illustrating the local areas of historical, artistic and cultural importance in and around Dromina, many of which are related to 1916, and on Easter Sunday evening a large centenary gathering will take place, featuring music, poetry, dance and discussion for all in attendance. Easter Monday in Dromina will see the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.
Over the Easter Weekend, commemorative plaques will be unveiled in Kilbrin, Bantry, Boherbue, Conna, Ballingeary, Kealkil and Millstreet.
In Millstreet, a plaque will be unveiled on Easter Sunday, at 12:30 p.m., to commemorate the formation of the Irish Volunteers in Millstreet on November 1, 1915 and to commemorate the mobilisation of the four Companies of Keale, Millstreet, Mushera and Rathduane on Easter Sunday 1916 under C/O C. J. Meany.
In Conna, at 12:30pm an ecumenical service will take place at Conna Bridge, followed by the unveiling of a plaque, the reading of the proclamation and the laying of a wreath. Present will be United Nations ex-servicemen in uniform and there will also be a recital by a pipe band.
In Macroom, proceedings will commence at 2:30pm on Easter Sunday when a parade led by the Cullen Pipe Band takes place, which will include relatives of the 7th/8th Battalion, representing many locations from the surrounding hinterland.
The event will culminate in the raising of the National Flag, the laying of a wreath, the Last Post and a rendition of the Irish National Anthem.
There are some wonderful plans for the commemoration of the Easter Rising in Boherbue, Kilbrin as well as Mournebbey and in Ballingeary, Easter Sunday will be commemorated by way of a 1916 re-enactment march of the Volunteers to Kealkil. The ceremonial aspect of this event will also include the unveiling of a memorial plaque and a performance by the Ballingeary Pipe Band.
In West Cork, Easter Saturday sees a 1916 themed tour in Rosscarbery at 2:30pm and an audio/visual event later that evening at 8:30pm entitled 'The Story of Rosscarbery in 1916". In Rosscarbery the following day, a 1916 Remembrance Parade will take place, which will be preceded by a commemorative mass for peace and reconciliation in St. Fachtna's Parish Church at 12 noon followed by open air traditional Irish music and dancing at the monument in the Square.
The parade itself commences at 3pm (duration 2 hours) and will be followed by traditional music in local hostelries.
In Bantry on Easter Sunday, a commemorative plaque will be unveiled at Bridge Street at 10am followed by a re-enactment march to Kealkil, in association with the Ballingeary Historical Society. At 1:30p.m. in Bantry there will be a community commemoration of 1916 with traditional Irish Music and Dancing as well as the Raising of the Flag and a Reading of the Proclamation by students from Coláiste Phobail Bheanntraí.
A Photographic exhibition, entitled '1910 to 1920' will also be on display in the Bantry Tourist Office.
In Eyeries on Easter Sunday, a plaque will be unveiled at 8am to commemorate the visit of Terence MacSwiney to Eyeries on 1st January 1916. This will be followed by a re-enactment march of the Beara Volunteers from Eyeries to Lauragh, Co Kerry, leaving Eyeries Village at 08:30am.
Without question, the centenary commemorations held during Easter 2016 will live long in the memory of County Cork, with many more events to come in April.