herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Connolly grandson fears 1916 will be forgotten about

John Connolly (Tom Burke)
John Connolly (Tom Burke)

Relatives of those who fought during the Easter Rising have said they are worried that it will all be forgotten about next year.

James Connolly's grandson, John Connolly, said he was concerned that we are not doing enough to preserve our history.

Mr Connolly, whose father Roddy also fought in the GPO in 1916, said "when the dust settles" next year the events of 1916 should not be forgoten.

"I don't worry about 2016. I worry about 2017," said Mr Connolly. "It's all over and what's going to be there? I know young men who don't know there was a rising in 1916."

Roddy Connolly fought in the GPO during the Rising as a 15-year-old alongside James Connolly.

John Connolly said it is important that people continue to tell the stories of 1916 to preserve Ireland's heritage.

However, despite his family's role in the Rising, he said he heard few 1916 stories growing up.

"Roddy, our father, never spoke about it," he said.

"Well, a 15-year-old boy, being shot at and shooting back - because I understand he had a revolver - must have been a traumatic experience.

women

"I heard most of the stories from my father's friends who looked after him during the Rising and the Civil War."

President Michael D Higgins, who was speaking at the same event, said it is important that we remember the role played by the women of the Rising.

"In the history of this period, I note a tendency to regard the female members of the tenements - more than 86,000 occupants - as a category, while the middle and upper middle-class participants are easily and more usually identified as persons which often ignores their complex belief system," he said.

"That we are now hearing of the role of women in terms of participation and opinion is so welcome."

Both men were speaking as an oral history of the Rising was being presented to the National Library of Ireland.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News