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Prionsias Ó Rathaille, grandson of the only 1916 leader to die in action, is preserving the past, fighting for the future

As the grandson of the only leader to die in action during the 1916 Rising, Proinsias Ó Rathaille has a vested intered in the history of the State – and he says the current government has ‘no concept of our heritage’

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Proinsias Ó Rathaille in his house full of historical memories

Proinsias Ó Rathaille in his house full of historical memories

Michael O'Rahilly.

Michael O'Rahilly.

Proinsias Ó Rathaille's grandfather died in 1916.

Proinsias Ó Rathaille's grandfather died in 1916.

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Proinsias Ó Rathaille in his house full of historical memories

wexfordpeople

To walk into Proinsias Ó Rathaille’s home is to take a journey through time, to explore not just his own life but that of his family, a family steeped in history and one which played an integral part in the formation of the State. Framed photos dominate the walls of Proinsias’s front room in his house in the centre of Gorey, pictures of him with Martin McGuinness, with Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams, and Michael D Higgins sit alongside images of his hero Elvis, his parents Bridie and Niall and of course his grandfather, Michael Joseph O’Rahilly ‘The O’Rahilly’, the only officer to die in combat at the 1916 Easter Rising.

There are other heirlooms and memorabilia, pieces of history, reminders of the past, but most of the story, most of the narrative, resides within Proinsias. And that story beings in Co Kerry where his grandfather grew up. 


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