Liverpool Easter Rising Centenary Calender of Events 2016


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


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

piaras beasli

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

women 1916

Members of Cumann na mBan


Women of 1916 – Panel discussion

Chair: Professor Peter Shirlow


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


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

mise eire

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


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

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



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.



Date: From April 2016

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

Admission: Free


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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1 Response to Liverpool Easter Rising Centenary Calender of Events 2016

  1. martin morrissey says:

    Well done if you need assistance in any way I would be willing to help I am Irish been in Liverpool since 1968 and would like to contribute if possible

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