Tuesday, 08 March 2016

1916 Celebrations in Killarney

Great Southern Killarney Spring Exterior

2016 makes the 100 year anniversary of the 1916 rising. Kerry County Council’s calendar for the 2016 Commemorations focuses on Banna, Ballykissane pier and Valentia Island. These stories impact at local, national and international level. Each of these areas played a vital role in the Rising of 1916. At Ballykissane pier on 21 April 1916 (Good Friday), four men were on their way to Cahersiveen & Valentia to steal wireless equipment and to decoy British warships away from the area to allow the ‘Aud’ to land and discharge its cargo of guns. Conditions were poor and taking a wrong turn, they drove off Ballykissane Pier, Killorglin. The three dead men – Donal Sheehan (Newcastle West), Charles Monahan (Belfast) & Cornelius “Con” Keating (Cahersiveen) became the first casualties of the Easter Rising.

At Banna beach on Holy Thursday, 20th April 1916 Casement’s U-boat arrived at Tralee Bay but there was no sign of the ‘Aud’, which was to land the German guns, also there was no signal from the shore. In the early hours of 21 April 1916, Casement came ashore at Banna Strand. Too weak to travel he was discovered at McKenna’s Fort and brought under guard to Tralee.

The famous cable to New York was sent by two local telegraphers from Valentia Island (Tim & Eugene Ring).It read “Mother operated on successfully today. Kathleen”.  Not the most sophisticated of coded messages, but meaning that the Rising had begun.  It was sent to leader of Clan na nGael in New York, John Devoy, who therefore knew that the Rising had begun even before the British did.

Kerry County Council will lead a number of programs including the key Roger Casement Exhibition at Kerry County Museum throughout 1916. This exhibition will explore both the life of Sir Roger Casement leading to his role in the Rising of 1916, and indeed the wider Kerry story looking at social and cultural history and key figures from 1916. The Library service is hosting a number of lectures throughout Kerry while the Arts office is working with Listowel Writers Week.

While exploring the town centre, take the time to visit the Killarney’s Garden of Remembrance where the 1916 Proclamation will be displayed. On Tuesday the 15th of April a community Garden of Remembrance will open at 11am. This is located directly across from our sister property, Killarney Royal hotel, just steps away from The Malton. The Garden will have three elements : a flagpole, 1916 proclamation & seven trees to represent the seven signatories  of the proclamation.

Special guest on the day will be Micheal O’ Muircheartaigh.

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