Plans to commemorate 1916 Rising under the spotlight

The County Council’s plans for next year’s 1916 Rising commemorations were questioned at this month’s meeting.

The County Council’s plans for next year’s 1916 Rising commemorations were questioned at this month’s meeting.

Cllr Jim Ryan (Ind) said he hoped at least one Councillor from each area could liaise with the various bodies organising the ceremonies across the County. “I strongly recommend that we have some kind of input into what’s being planned.”

Cllr Ger Darcy (FG) said one of the executed men - the activist, poet and revolutionary Thomas MacDonagh - came from his area near Cloughjordan. Some J10,000 had already been granted to a Cloughjordan group to commemorate the Rising. “1916 changed history,” said Cllr Darcy, “as far as Ireland is concerned.” Cllr Michael Fitzgerald (FG) retorted that McDonagh may have come from Cloughjordan but only his native village of Golden had erected a statue in his honour. “There’s no statue of him at all in Cloughjordan,” said Cllr Fitzgerald.

Cllr David Doran (SF) said his party runs 1916 Rising events “every year”. Cllr Jackie Cahill (FF) said Fianna Fáil had also been running them “for a long number of years.” “We don’t need an invitation. In 1919, the War of Independence started in Tipperary. We were the driving force behind it.”

Cllr John Hogan (FF) said it was vital to support the people who commemorate it every year. “When next year is over, they will be back. It’s most important that the groups that always commemorate 1916 will not be ignored.”

Director of Services for Community and Economic Development Ms Sinead Carr said the Council is meeting with a number of groups, including in Cloughjordan, in preparation for next year. The aim is to be as “inclusive as possible.”

The Co. Council will have a “significant role” and a Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) is being set up to drive through the Council’s plans. Some J1m has been set aside for the local authority for the events along with more money from the Council’s own budget, added Ms Carr.