herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

DNA tests to confirm if Easter rebel's body found

HISTORY

Thomas Kent
Thomas Kent

DNA testing will be used to determine if the remains of a 1916 patriot have been successfully recovered at an exhumation at Cork Prison.

The exhumation has recovered a skull and suspected human bones from a known burial place near the prison yard.

However, experts cannot be certain that the remains are those of Thomas Kent until DNA testing indicates a match with living descendants in Cork.

The exhumation license was granted last April to allow the so-called 'Forgotten Rebel' of the 1916 Easter Rising be honoured with a Christian burial.

Thomas Kent (51) was executed and then buried in the yard of Cork Prison for his role in the failed rising on May 9, 1916.

The armed clash with Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) members outside Castlelyons in north Cork was the only attempted rising outside Dublin in 1916.

Thomas Kent was buried in the prison yard by the British authorities, just metres from his execution site, despite the protests of his family who had pleaded for the return of his body.

However, the precise location of the burial was forgotten over time though a plaque on the prison wall commemorates him.

burial

He is now the only Easter Rising rebel not to receive a proper Christian burial.

If the remains discovered are proved to be his, it is unclear whether he will be buried alongside other patriots in Glasnevin in Dublin or in his family's plot outside Castlelyons.

Cork's Lord Mayor Councillor Chris O'Leary, the city's first Sinn Fein Lord Mayor in over 90 years, backed the campaign to properly honour Thomas Kent.

The Kent family, historians and the Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen, including campaigner Tomas O Siochain, want the rebel's body to be located and re-interred with full honours in time for the 1916 centenary.

Mr O'Siochain said it was the very least that the patriot deserved as part of the Easter Rising centenary.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News