herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Never-before-seen 1916 memorabilia on display

The Alexandra Hotel, D2. Exhibition at the 1916 Relatives Association meeting.Paul Callery (49) Finglas, Dublin Brigade Irish Volunteers History Group.
The Alexandra Hotel, D2. Exhibition at the 1916 Relatives Association meeting.Paul Callery (49) Finglas, Dublin Brigade Irish Volunteers History Group.

PREVIOUSLY unseen gun holsters and medals from the 1916 Rising were put on display for one day in Dublin as 300 relatives of those who fought in the rebellion met to express their anger at the "shambles" of the centenary plans.

Part of the memorabilia included a Na Fianna medal worn on April 24, 1916. Usually the medal remains in a private hands but it is not known who the medal belonged to.

Also on display was a leather gun holster. Again it is not known who used the holster but it made its way to Ireland after the Boer War.

outraged

Yesterday marked the inaugural meeting of the relatives' group, who are outraged by the Government's handling of the commemoration plans for 2016.

"We are extremely disappointed that we find ourselves in a situation where we now have to fight to ensure that people whose sacrifice and bravery led to the birth of our nation are even simply remembered, let alone honoured," said group secretary Una Mac Nulty.

"We call on all the people of Ireland at home and abroad to unite with us to ensure that these extraordinary women, men and children are never forgotten," she added.

"Why are they (the Government) so worried about commemorating 1916?"asked historian Shane Kenna. Dr Kenna asked was the Government afraid of "justifying violence".

On the divisive subject of the presence of the British royal family being present at the anniversary in two year's time, he said it was a matter of pride.

"Do we want the world to see us as proud or as doffing our cap to a member of the British royal family?" asked the historian to the 300 attendees.

Relatives also said they were trying to find out about their loved ones because the history had been lost.

"I want to get to know my father and remember him," said Aine Ford, whose father Sean volunteered during the Rising.

jfegan@herald.ie

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