Dr Kevin McNamara RIP

News has just reached us this afternoon that Dr Kevin McNamara, our Chair and leader has sadly died today. We offer our sincerest condolences to Kevin’ wife Nora, his children and his extended family on this very sad day.

Of course, Kevin’s 40 years involvement in British politics as a Labour MP and friend of the Irish community in Britain will be well noted. But for us, Kevin was loved and admired by us all who knew him through the Liverpool Easter 1916 Commemoration Committee for the past 4 years. His drive and passion to research and properly commemorate the Liverpool women and men who fought for Irish freedom 101 years ago both inspired us and drove us forward despite the many obsticles set before us. Kevin’s diligence, skills and presense ensured that during the centenary year of the Easter Rising the ‘Liverpool story’ would be heard and rightly recognised.

June 2017 saw the unveiling of the Liverpool Easter Rising Memorial. We’re so glad that Kevin saw that day and his contribution that day portrayed a man still very much in love with Ireland and his place being firmly set amongst its people. The Memorial will be a lasting testament to his work on Liverpool and the Easter Rising, and we are all so glad to have known him and will be forever thankful to him. As soon as we have anymore information on Kevin, we’ll post it to this page.

Ar dheas Dé go raibh a anam.

Neil Doolin. Secretary.

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Easter Rising 1916 memorial unveiled in Liverpool.

Formed in 2013, the Liverpool Easter 1916 Commemoration Committee set out to record and commemorate the women and men of Liverpool Irish community who fought in defense of the Irish Republic during the Easter Rising in Dublin 1916. The Committee organised a wide range of public events during 2016 to accompany the worldwide Easter Rising centenary celebrations. 

Yesterday saw the culmination of 4 years of work with the public unveiling at St Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church, Scotland Road, Liverpool of a permanent memorial listing the individual names of the Liverpool Irish volunteers who participated in the Rising.

Left to right; Mr Bernard Morgan, Dr Kevin McNamara, Commandant Stephen Mac Eoin, Bishop Tom Williams, Mr Peter King

Chaired by Dr Kevin McNamara (Chair of the Liverpool Committee) the unveiling was performed by Mr Bernard Morgan whose mother Rose Ann Murphy was a member of Cumann na mBan Liverpool and Easter Rising veteran; Mr Peter King, grand nephew to George, John and Patrick King of the Irish Volunteer’s Liverpool and Easter Rising veterans; and finally Commandant Stephen Mac Eoin, Officer in Charge, Dublin Military Archive of the Irish Defense Forces who addressed the ceremony.

Dr Kevin McNamara addresses the ceremony

Liverpool Easter Rising Memorial

Following the unveiling, the Memorial was blessed by Bishop Tom Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool and a roll call of those listed on the memorial was read by Mr Seamus Murphy.

Bishop Tom Williams addresses the ceremony

Commandant Stephen Mac Eoin addresses the ceremony

Concluding remarks and thanks were made by Mr Greg Quiery on behalf of Committee and the ceremony ended with the playing of Amhràn na bhFiann.

Greg Quiery thanks those on behalf of the Liverpool Easter 1916 Commemoration Committee

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Public Unveiling Liverpool Easter Rising Memorial

Formed in 2013 the Liverpool Easter 1916 Commemoration Committee set itself the task of recording and remembering the role of the Liverpool women and men who participated in defence of the Irish Republic, during the Easter Rising in Dublin, 1916. During 2016, the centenary year of the Rising, the Committee was able offer a wide ranging programme of events throughout Liverpool to highlight Liverpool’s role. Thanks to funding provided by the Irish Government’s Department for Foreign Affairs,  The Heritage Lottery Fund and very generous individual donations these events included a major display at the Museum of Liverpool, a drama which include music and dance detailing the lives of some of the individuals involved, a display in Liverpool Central Library, lectures at the Institute of Irish Studies and elsewhere, and finally a service of remembrance at St Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church attended by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

One of the Committee’s projects ran slightly over but I am honoured to announce that on Sunday 25th June 2017 at 1.00pm we will finally see the unveiling of the Liverpool Easter Rising Memorial at St Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church, Scotland Road, Liverpool. The memorial will name individually the Liverpool men and women of the Easter Rising and provide a permanent place of remembrance for these forgotten individuals who played such a major role in the formation of an independent Irish state.
The Committee would like to invite you and members of the public to the official unveiling which will be overseen by Bishop Tom Williams, Auxiliary Archbishop of Liverpool and former parish priest of St Anthony’s, followed by a reception. St Anthony’s Church holds a special place in the history of the Irish in Liverpool and it is fitting that such a memorial will be sited there. Our work has ended and we as a committee would like to thank all of our supporters and friends amongst the communities of Liverpool. Special thanks to all individuals who gave their free time to support and develop the projects and events that have been held to commemorate the Easter Rising during 2016/17. There have been hundreds of people involved.
Special thanks must go to our Chair, Dr Kevin McNamara. Kevin has been the main driving force behind the committee since its inception and his meticulous research of the Liverpool Irish volunteers proved to be invaluable throughout the past 3 years. Also, Kevin’s time as Member of Parliament and his deep love of Ireland ensured that doors that would otherwise have been closed, where in fact opened.
Thanks also to local Irish historian Greg Quirey for leading on the Museum display and the Memorial itself. Other thanks go to our long suffering Treasurer, Liam Walsh, he managed to balance the books!; to Tony Birtill, Liverpool Irish language activist with Conradh na Gailege, for his contribution in highlighting the importance of the Irish language to the Liverpool Irish volunteers of the period; and final thanks go to Peter King and Steve Nolan whose passion, script writing and general all round artistic talents ensured that the ‘Liverpool Lambs’ production was the success it was and that it rightly highlighted the personal sacrifices of the Liverpool Irish who fought for Irish freedom, Easter 1916.  

Neil Doolin
Secretary

Liverpool Easter 1916 Commemoration Committee.

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Publication of Tom Craven’s ‘A Narrative of the Six Days Defence of the Irish Republic Easter 1916’.

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Liverpool Easter Rising 1916 Centenary Programmes

Our Centenary Programmes have arrived and will be available at all of our events. Pick one up from St Michaels Irish Centre Liverpool when your passing through…..

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A message from Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D. Higgins

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Liverpool Easter Rising Centenary Calender of Events 2016

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Welcome to a first look at our programme of events to commemorate the centenary year of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. Liverpool has a very close connection to the events of Dublin 1916.  The men on the front of our programme are the 4 King brothers from Liverpool, Patrick (top left) John (top right) George (bottom left) and Edward (bottom right). Patrick, John and George fought during the Rising, while Edward was later to fight during the War of Independence.

Since 2014 the Liverpool Easter 1916 Commemoration Committee has been working hard to research and discover the role these Liverpool Irish women and men each played during the Rising. Our aim is to highlight the unique story of the Liverpool volunteers and tell their stories through a variety of methods as outlined in this programme. Our printed Centenary Programme of events for 2016 will include findings from our research and reveal more about the lives of these Liverpool women and men, whose actions would ultimately contribute to the development of an independent Irish state. In the meantime, we invite you to the events listed here and to look out for other events/projects planned for the remainder of  the centenary year.

ODonovan_Rossa2Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa and the Anti-Colonial Imagination – Dr Deaglan O Donghaile

 
“They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but, the fools, the fools, the fools! — they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”
Patrick Pearse’s Graveside Oration for O’Donovan Rossa, August 1st, 1915.

Described by Patrick Pearse as “incapable of compromise”, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa was one of the key figures of nineteenth-century Irish republicanism.  Such was his importance to the physical force tradition that his funeral was used as the ideological launching ground for the Easter Rising of 1916.  Interned in Ireland, and then later imprisoned in England for high treason, he was tortured and held in isolation for resisting prison authorities.  Upon his release he re-joined the Fenian movement and advocated the use of arms to remove the British presence from Ireland.  In his lecture, Dr Ó Donghaile will discuss O’Donovan Rossa’s enduring political influence among Irish republicans and will point to his role as one of the most important anti-colonial thinkers and writers of his time.

Date: Friday 26th February

Time: 5.00pm

Venue: Liverpool John Moores University John Foster Building Mount Pleasant Liverpool L3 5UZ 

Admission: Free

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Liverpool Lambs

An original production, which aims to celebrate the little known story of the men and women from Liverpool who helped to change the course of Irish history. We wish to remember their contribution to the formation of an independent Irish republic, through drama, dance and music. Our story begins in Liverpool, in January 1916 and follows the exploits of a group of volunteers, who travel to Dublin to take part  the Easter Rising in April 1916.

Devised by the Liverpool 1916 commemoration committee drama group.

Script by Peter King / Steve Nolan

Date: Sunday 20th March 2016 

Time: 7.30pm  

Venue: St Michaels Irish Centre 6 Bounday Lane Liverpool L6 5JG 

Admission: £5.00 Tickets available from St Michaels Irish Centre 

Date: Thursday 31st March 2016

 Time: 8.00pm

Venue: Unity Theatre 1 Hope Place Liverpool L1 9BG

Admission: £5.00 Tickets available from the Unity box office

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Piaras Béaslai and Easter 1916 – Professor Pádraig Ó Siadhail

Béaslai was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), a member of Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) and also an Irish language poet, playwright, biographer and translator. He was born on Breckfield Road South and learned to speak the Irish language in Liverpool where he was an enthusiastic member of the Gaelic League. Educated at St. Francis Xavier’s Jesuit College in Merseyside, he headed for Ireland at the age of 24. Béaslaí fought in both the Rising and the Irish War of Independence.

Date: Monday 18th April 2016

Time: 6.30pm

Venue: Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EW

Admission: Free

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Members of Cumann na mBan

 

Women of 1916 – Panel discussion

Chair: Professor Peter Shirlow

Panel:

HE Dan Mulhall (Irish Ambassador to London)

Dr Lauren Arrington (Senior Lecturer in Irish Literature in English, Institute of Irish Studies)

Dr Senia Paseta (Associate Professor of Modern History, St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford

Sinead McCoole (Irish historian and curator, author of Easter Widows)

 

Date: Wednesday 20th April 2016

Time: 6.00pm

Venue: University of Liverpool (building to be confirmed)

Admission: Free but registration is required via D.Lynch@liverpool.ac.uk.

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Reflections on 1916

St Michaels Irish Centre book club presents an evening of literature and drama.  There will be 2 short plays dealing with some of the events and then members of the book club and their guests will read extracts from the fact, fiction and poetry that has been written about the events and the people, the history and the myths.

Date: Tuesday 26th April 2016

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: St Michaels Irish Centre 6 Boundary Lane Liverpool L6 5JG 

Admission: Free

st anthonysService of Remembrance and Reconciliation – Celebrant Right Rev Tom Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool.

A special service of remembrance for the Liverpool Irish community with specially invited dignitaries and guests. Hosted by the parish church of St Anthony’s on Scotland Road, this service will provide an opportunity to remember the many local parishioners of the Scotland Road area who participated in the Easter Rising. Respectfully remembering all those killed in conflict, the service will provide the community with an opportunity for reflection through music, song, prayer and thanksgiving.

Date: Sunday 1st May 2016

Time: 1.00pm

Venue: St Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church Scotland Road Liverpool.

Admission: Free

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Mise Eire

This classic film in the Irish language (with subtitles) tells the story of the Easter rising against the backdrop of a score by Sean O’Riorda.  After the film there will be a discussion about the film and the messages it had back in 1959 when it was first shown and what it says to us now.

Date: Sunday 1st May 2016

Time: 7.00pm

Venue: St Michaels Irish Centre 6 Boundary Lane Liverpool L6 5JG 

Admission: Free

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The Liverpool Men and Women of the Easter Rising 1916 – Dr Kevin McNamara

Dr McNamara will present the Liverpool story of the 1916 Easter Rising and explain how Liverpool Irish women and men came to be part of the rebellion. Dr McNamara will provide a unique insight into the lives of these individuals who ignored the call to arms to fight in The Great War but chose instead to fight for an Irish democracy. Based mainly in the Kimmage Garrison in the suburbs of Dublin before the Rising, the majority of the Liverpool Irish volunteers found themselves part of the General Headquarters Staff at the General Post Office. Michael Collins dubbed them the refugees but Padraig Pearse — who lectured them on street fighting — called them: “The first standing army in Ireland since the days of Patrick Sarsfield.”

Date: Wednesday 4th May 2016

Time: 6.00pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 6 Rendall Building University of Liverpool.

Admission: Free but registration is required via D.Lynch@liverpool.ac.uk.

11_24_1942-Pwadar-Kearney-died-_LINK-_Soldiers-SongThe songs of 1916

Michael Coyne, accordion, and Patrick Gaul, guitar, will sing the songs that inspired those involved in the Rising, some written by Connolly and Pearce themselves. Songs that commemorate the events and celebrate the heroic actions of those who fought, some old songs and some written more recently.  The songs will be accompanied by the stories around the events and the people who played their part

Date: Sunday Sunday 8th May 2016

Time: 2.00pm

Venue: St Michaels Irish Centre 6 Boundary Lane Liverpool L6 5JG 

Admission: Free

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Conradh na Gaeilge agus 1916 – Tony Birtill

Founded in 1893, The Gaelic League’s (Conradh na Gaeilge) aim was to rescue the decline of use of the Irish language. A majority of the Easter 1916 Proclamation signatories where members of the Irish language movement. Tony will explore the relationship between the leaders of the Rising and the Gaelic League and also the connections between the Gaelic League in Liverpool and the Rising.

Date: Monday October 17

Time: 6.00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 2 Central Library William Brown Street Liverpool.

Admission: Free.

1113 583 Easter Uprising Medal both sides

Liverpool and the Easter Rising Display

A display at the Museum of Liverpool will tell the fascinating story of the men and women from Merseyside who travelled to Dublin to take an active  part in the Easter Rising. Liverpool played a more significant role than is generally acknowledged. Piaras Beaslai, a founder member of the Irish volunteers was from the city as was Joseph Gleeson who raised the Irish tricolour over the GPO during the Rising.  The display case will feature items preserved by their relatives and descendants – medals, photos, diaries and oral accounts. Visitors will learn why they went, what they did and what happened to them afterwards. How did the Liverpool Irish community – which had many sons enlisted in the British army –  respond to the Rising? Who were the women involved? What was the local press reaction? Come along and find out.

The display is made possible by the support of the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the Irish Government Department for Foreign Affairs.

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Date: From April 2016

Venue: Museum of Liverpool Pier Head Liverpool Waterfront Liverpool L3 1DG

Admission: Free

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Captain Thomas Craven’s Narrative

As part of our committee’s work to commemorate the role of the Liverpool volunteers in Dublin in 1916,  we will publish  for the first time  a limited commemorative edition of Captain Thomas Craven’s,’ A Narrative of Six Days in the  Defence of the Irish Republic’. Craven, of the Irish Volunteers in Liverpool, in organising the Jobstown Raid to seize gelignite on Easter Sunday morning 1916, committed the first overt act of the Rising.  Written circa 1920 in the USA ,where he was working for the Republic, it is an exciting well written account by a young man still full of idealism and enthusiasm for the Cause. The Committee is indebted to Commandant Pádraic Kennedy of the Dublin based  Military Archives of the Irish Defence Forces for permission to publish for the first time this historic document. The Committee received a handsome contribution from the Department of Foreign Affairs (Ireland): Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora Programme towards the cost of the publication. Further details of the cost and date of the publication will be made later.

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