Recently 31 members and friends of Causeway Coast Peace Group, set off on an historic educational trip to Dublin, to learn and visit sites of events that took place in 1916.
On the outskirts of Dublin the well versed Guide met the Group, and during the next three hours David O’Brien shared his excellent knowledge of the City of Dublin. On this visit he outlined events and pointed out places of interest where the Rising had taken place prior to visiting The National War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, where Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the then President of Ireland Mrs Mary McAleese, laid a Poppy Wreath in honour of nearly 50,000 Irish soldiers who fought in the First World War.
As the Group listened to David, they paused for a moment of reflection while two members of the Group, Carol and Mary, laid a small spray of white flowers on behalf of the Peace Group. The next stop was at The Garden of Remembrance, where again Queen Elizabeth laid a wreath, and bowed her head - a significant moment in Irish history. This large amazing monument of The Children of Lir, by Oisin Kelly - a member of the Church of Ireland, and a teacher at St Columba’s College, Rathfarnham, commemorates Irish people who fought over the centuries against British rule, and a memorial to almost 500 people who were killed in the uprising. Again two members of The Peace Group, Eilish and Maurice laid flowers on behalf of their fellow members, and paused in remembrance. The final stop was to Glasnevin Cemetery, opened in 1832, prompted by Daniel O’Connell, for the burial of both Irish Catholics and Protestants to give their dead dignified burial. The Group enjoyed an excellent lunch in the cemetery restaurant, served with delightful Irish humour and charm! Full story online!
After which young Guide Warren walked the Group round as many graves as time allowed. The group listened intently to the stories as they stopped at the graves of Roger Casement, Thomas Macdonagh,Patrick Pearse, Joseph Plunkett, and the crypt of Daniel O’Connell. The last grave in the tour, was the most visited in the cemetery, that of Michael Collins, with its bright floral tributes, and this grave is like this every day of the year. Sadly time didn’t allow everyone to visit the graves of Elizabeth O’Farrell, Constance Markievicz, but some did this briefly on their own, but overall there was a feeling amongst the Group of wanting to know more, and revisit this wonderful resting place of so many famous people. Before leaving Glasnevin the Group visited the recently opened marble Remembrance Wall, which marks the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, which records the names of the men, women and children who lost their lives 100 years ago. The wall lists alphabetically the names of all civilians and members of the British Army, Dublin Metropolitan Police, Irish Citizen Army, Irish Volunteers and Royal Irish Constabulary, without rank or organisation, who were killed as a result of the fighting a century ago. At this wall, which in the bright sunshine reflected some of the Peace Group members standing close, watched reverently as Eleanor and Pat laid the last of the Group’s flowers, and remembered.
The Peace Group are grateful for part funding for this visit from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.