Centenary celebration at Ashe Hall

Simon Brouder

Aa part of the year long series of commemorations planned to mark the centenary of Thomas Ashe's death in 1917 the Ashe Memorial Hall has been re-dedicated in honour of the Lispole born patriot.

The hall - one of the first major public buildings to be constructed by the Free State government - was completed in 1928.

On May 3, 1928 Kerry County Council voted to name it in honour of the Easter Rising leader who died in Mountjoy Prison on September 25 1917 after being force fed while he was on hunger strike.

Kerry County Council opted to hold the re-dedication on Monday as it coincided with the date of the hall's formal dedication in 1928.

Monday's ceremony - which attracted a large crowd - was hosted by Mayor of Kerry Cllr Michael O'Shea and several members of Thomas Ashe's family, including his niece Eileen Quinn; grand nephews Colin and Angus Quinn and his great grand niece Aisling Quinn.

There was also a large contingent from Ashe's native Lispole with pupils from Scoil Naomh Eoin Báiste also among the guests.

Mayor O'Shea made a special presentation to the Ashe family of a framed copy of the minutes of the May 1928 council meeting when Kerry County Council's members voted to name the new hall after Ashe.

Eileen Quinn spoke on behalf of the Ashe family delivering an informal but captivating address which offered many fascinating new insights into the life and death of her famous uncle.

The Dublin native also spoke about the first time she saw the Ashe Memorial Hall.

"I was only a small child and we we're in Kerry on holiday. My father (Ashe's younger brother) parked the car just up the street and we all got out and had a good look at the building. On the way back from West Kerry that evening we had to stop again and have a long walk around it. I can remember it well. My father was so proud that day," said Mrs Quinn.

Kerryman

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