Wexford People

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Centenary of John Redmond's death commemorated


John Redmond

John Redmond

John Redmond

A day of commemoration to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of one of Wexford's most famous and controversial figures, John Redmond, is to take place in the town on Sunday, April 15.

The commemoration had been planned for several weeks ago, but was disrupted by the blizzard caused by the Beast from the East and Storm Emma.

A seminar will take place in Wexford Library from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 15. Speakers will be Dermot Meleady, with the topic 'From Parnellite to National Leader,' Ronan McGreevy on 'John Redmond and World War One' and Dr Martin O'Donoghue on 'The Legacy of John Redmond'.

Admission is free but must be booked with Wexford Library 053-9196759. The launch of the talking history audio smart facility located at sites associated with the Redmond family will also take place and an exhibition on the life and career of John Redmond will be on display in the library.

At 3 p.m. a Ceremony of Remembrance and wreath laying will take place at the Redmond Mausoleum, in St John's Graveyard, John Street.

The parade, which is due to arrive at 2.50 p.m. on the day will be led by a colour party from the 3rd Battalion, Irish Defence Forces, members of the ONE Commodore John Barry Wexford branch, the Mayor Cllr Jim Moore and members of Wexford Borough District. A welcoming address will be delivered Cllr Moore, followed by a keynote speech on behalf of the Government.

This will be followed by a series of wreath-layings at the Mausoleum on behalf of the people of Wexford, the Government and the descendants of John Redmond.

A Minute's Silence will be followed by the Piper's Lament played by the New Ross FCA Pipe Band, the The Last Post played by Anthony Nolan, the raising of the national flag and Reveille. The blessing will be given by Fr Aodhán Marken and Canon Arthur Minion. Then Amhrán na bhFiann will be played by St Patrick's Fife & Drum Band.

The Redmonds were of Norman descent and towards the end of the 1700s the family became involved in trade, commerce and shipping. John Edward was a liberal MP for the town from 1859-1865. It was due to his influence that the railway was brought to Wexford and he was also responsible for the reclamation of 5,000 acres of Wexford harbour now called the slob lands. The monument in Redmond Square is to his memory.

His grand-nephew also called John Edward Redmond (1856-1918) was the leader of the Irish Parliamentary party after 1900 having reunited the party after the Parnell split. He served as MP for New Ross (1881-1885), North Wexford (1885-1891) and Waterford (1891-1918). His aim, and the aim of his party, was to secure Home Rule or a domestic parliament for Ireland.

As a result of the British election of 1910, Redmond skilfully secured the passage of a third Home Rule bill through Westminster.

However, the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 delayed the introduction of Home Rule and support for Redmond declined rapidly under pressure of events at home and abroad in the following years. After a lifetime of service to his country he died on March 6, 1918 and is buried in the family mausoleum in this graveyard. His son Captain William Archer Redmond (1886-1932) who served as an MP and TD is also buried here.

Wexford People