A grandniece of Éamonn Ceannt – and representatives of the 1916 Proclamation signatory’s home village of Ballymoe – were among the special guests at Galway marked the start of the centenary commemorations of the Easter Rising.
The special ceremony, including flag raising with the Defence Forces, was held at Galway County Hall on New Year’s Day to mark the start of the centenary year – and the strong connections between the county and the 1916 Rising. Among those present was Mary Gallagher, grandniece of Éamonn Ceannt, Signatory of the Proclamation and native of Ballymoe.
She joined the Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Cllr Peter Roche, in presenting a presenting a specially commissioned print image of Éamonn Ceannt, to Martin Griffin, Martin McHugh and Michael Ward, representing the community of Ballymoe. The print will be placed on permanent display in Ballymoe Community Centre.
And together they witnessed Cllr Roche and Kevin Kelly, Chief Executive, Galway County Council, unveil a specially commissioned, large scale hand-painted replica of the original edition of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, as signed by the seven members of the Provisional Government and read by P.H. Pearse outside the GPO on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916.
The Proclamation commissioned by Galway County Council from the Galway Print Studio and measuring five metres by three metres, is one of the largest copies of the Proclamation every produced.
It was revealed to spontaneous applause from the several hundred in attendance and was read by Captain Damien Kelleher, An Chéad Cathlán, (1st Battalion) Dhún Uí Mhaoilíosa. The unveiling was accompanied by a piece of specially commissioned music on the Uileann pipes composed and performed by Ger Fahy.
The impressive and authentic reproduction of the Proclamation will remain on display at the offices of Galway County Council for the centenary year.
The large turn-out reflected the fact that the largest mobilization of Volunteers outside of Dublin was in the county of Galway, where the Galway Volunteers held the largest landmass in the country during Easter week 1916. The event also marked the formal opening of an exhibition based on the Signatories of the Proclamation, with members of Galway Comhairle na nOg outlining the significant role played by the Signatories to the Proclamation in the events of Easter week 1916.
The special ties of Éamonn Ceannt, born Edward Thomas Kent in the police barracks at Ballymoe, on September 21 1881 and P.H. Pearse, summer resident of Ros Muc, were detailed.
The ceremonial event concluded with a Flag Raising lead by Captain Damien Kelleher and members of the Defence Forces from An Chéad Cathlán, Dhún Uí Mhaoilíosa in Renmore.
It was the first of over 150 events to take place in the County of Galway to mark the centenary of 1916, representing one of the largest centenary programmes in the country.
Galway’s full 1916 Centenary Programme is available on the Galway County Council website www.galway.ie.