Fingal Independent

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Rising recalled from Skerries perspective


AS the build up to the centenary celebrations of the 1916 Rising begin to gather pace, a fascinating insight into Fingal's role in the rebellion has been published by a local author.

Peter F Whearity, better known as Frank, a Balbriggan native living in Skerries, has written a new account of the rising told from a Skerries perspective.

The rebellion of 1916 transformed Irish politics. Outside of Dublin, there were only a few locations where military action occurred.

One of these was just across the Fingal border in Ashbourne in County Meath, and it was organised by Volunteers from North County Dublin.

In Frank's book 'The Easter Rising of 1916 in North County Dublin – A Skerries Perspective' he examines the Irish Volunteer movement in Fingal.

The book looks at the events of Easter week, and explores what the rebellion meant to the general population of towns such as Skerries, where local loyalist residents left their homes and paced the seashore for fear of attack from the Volunteers.

While the Helga was heading up the river Liffey to bombard the city centre, patrolling gunboats aimed their guns on the town of Skerries, and a force of about 200 men of the North Staffordshire Regiment was landed on Wednesday, April 26. 1916.

Strategic points in the town were fortified and a night-time curfew was imposed on the town's inhabitants.

The collapse of the rebellion saw thousands arrested and interned, among them men from Fingal, and these men's collective experience form an integral part of this study.

Peter (Frank) Whearity is a member of the Skerries Historical Society and holds an MA in local history from NUI Maynooth.

With the support of his colleagues in the historical society, he launched the new book last week at Keane's Bus Bar in Skerries and it is available now, published by Four Courts Press.