Monaghan Muineachán

At the beginning of 1916, a rebellion against British rule was far from inevitable. The vast majority of the Catholic Nationalist population in County Monaghan looked forward to the implementation of Home Rule after the war.

Ag tús 1916, ní raibh éirí amach in aghaidh riail na Breataine dosheachanta. Bhí formhór an daonra Náisiúnaigh Chaitlicigh i gContae Mhuineacháin ag súil le cur i bhfeidhm an Rialtais Dúchais tar éis an chogaidh.

Monaghan—1916 and its Aftermath

Both Nationalists and the very strong Protestant population of around 25 per cent were getting on with their everyday lives, many of them experiencing a degree of prosperity not known for generations.

On Good Friday 1916, a small band of Irish Volunteers from south Monaghan, probably no more than 12 in number, congregated in the Foresters’ Hall, Carrickmacross. Complete with rations and a very limited supply of arms, they were prepared to participate in a general uprising. They disbanded that evening, came together again the following day, disbanded again, regrouped for the final time on the following morning, Easter Sunday, and went home that evening. Confusion reigned as original orders were countermanded and nobody knew where they were supposed to be or what they were supposed to be doing. Thus, there was no rising in Monaghan.

When news of the rebellion reached Monaghan it was widely condemned by both Catholic Nationalists and Protestant Unionists. The first edition of the Dundalk Democrat after the Rising referred to it as ‘an act of madness’. Local government bodies disassociated themselves from the rebel activities. The Resolution of Monaghan County Council stated that they ‘greatly deplored…the recent regrettable occurrences in Dublin which resulted in the loss of the lives of many of His Majesty’s soldiers and civilians’.

At a meeting of Carrickmacross Board of Poor Law Guardians, the Chairman, Edward Kelly, pledged the support of the Guardians to John Redmond: “He was very glad that the prominent Sinn Féiners of Carrickmacross were so weak-spirited that they saved themselves on this occasion….Everyone should approve of the action of the authorities in shooting the rebel leaders—because that is what they are, only a handful of revolutionists. I say it knowing that the press is here and that it will be published… We are all ashamed of them”.

Such a response from established Irish Party supporters separated them from the younger generation of Sinn Féiners who were wooed by the patriotic bravery of the rebel leaders. Those who later fought in the War of Independence testified to the surge of militant nationalism that was inspired by the executions of the 1916 leaders. In 1966, Tom Carragher of Donaghmoyne, one of the most prominent IRA leaders in south Monaghan during the War of Independence, commented: ‘After the Rising there was at first an awful silence, then a murmur which grew and grew until an awful roar, and by 1918 the profile of Patrick Pearse was hung on every kitchen wall.’

Most particularly, the fact that both James Connolly’s parents were born in Monaghan was widely publicised. The method of his execution—the fact that he had to be strapped to a chair because of his wounds— provoked public outrage and engendered deep bitterness and generated great suspicion not only of British intentions but also of the Irish Party’s ability to deal with them.

The events which followed the Easter Rising were also crucial. The arrest of hundreds of young men, who had no part in the Rising, was counter-productive. By December 1917, there were 35 Sinn Féin clubs in the county as a whole with an estimated membership of 1,800. The tide had turned in favour of Sinn Féin, and Ireland was heading towards an armed struggle for independence.

The Monaghan Centenary Commemorations

The commemoration of these tumultuous events that eventually led to the Irish Republic will be multifaceted. The people of County Monaghan will come together to remember and reflect on how 1916 changed the history of Ireland, and how those events have brought us to the modern Republic of today. This will be done through a broad range of initiatives including, talks, tours, exhibitions, performances and local community events. A detailed overview of this exciting programme, as it is currently, is presented in this document.

The Monaghan 1916 Commemoration Committee is comprised of Monaghan County Council staff from the library, corporate, heritage, arts, tourism and museum sectors as well as Monaghan County Councillors representing each of political groupings that sit on the Council. As part of the community planning phase, a public consultation evening was held. All community groups and the general public were invited to attend and present any ideas that they felt would properly commemorate the Rising and its legacy. All of these prospective projects were recorded and became an integral part of the committee’s planning for Monaghan 2016. Following this public event a grant programme was offered throughout the county to aid community groups with the initial planning phase of their projects in the latter half of 2015. Thanks to this broad and extensive public consultation, the events programme for Monaghan 2016 will very much be a community led experience that presents every citizen in the county with an opportunity to learn, reflect on and commemorate the 1916 Rising and what that means to them.

The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme is built on Seven Programme Strands which taken together reflect the themes of remembering, reconciling, presenting, imagining and celebrating.

Local Authorities have been formally given the role by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, of devising and delivering a commemorative programme at county level. Monaghan County Council has led the development of this plan in partnership with the community.

Communities will be vital in the planning and delivery of the programme for commemoration at county level. The wider community in Monaghan has been involved with the development of this plan, through a call for submissions in July 2015, and a public workshop held in May 2015, to which over one hundred people attended.

Many of the submissions received and contributions to the workshops outlined what communities across Monaghan were already planning for the commemoration of 1916, and also detailed what individuals and groups believe should happen at county level and wider for the commemorations. All submissions have been carefully considered and are reflected in this plan.

In addition, a Seed Funding Initiative grant scheme was launched in July 2015 and 43 applications for support were received by the closing date in July. Details of community projects approved for funding under this scheme are included in the relevant sections of this plan, categorised under what is considered to be the relevant programme strand and also in the draft calendar of events.

Grants to date have been allocated for projects taking place in 2015 and 2016, either as standalone projects, or in preparation for events and projects to take place in 2016.

During 2016 we will take the opportunity to reflect on 1916, the events leading up to and following the Rising, the people and groups involved and the impacts, positive and negative, on the Ireland of today.

This reflection will allow us to prepare fully, in partnership with the community, for a meaningful commemoration of 1916, through a programme of public engagement and consultation.

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Muineachán—Imeachtaí 1916 agus a n-Iarmhairt

Bhí na Náisiúnaithe agus an daonra an-láidir Protastúnach (timpeall 25 faoin gcéad) ag dul i mbun a ngnóthaí laethúla, agus rathúnas ag go leor díobh nach bhfacthas le glúine.

Ar Aoine an Chéasta 1916, bhailigh buíon beag d’Óglaigh na hÉireann ó dheisceart Mhuineacháin, nach mó ná 12 is dócha, i Halla na bhForester, Carraig Mhachaire Rois. Bhí ciondálacha agus soláthar anteoranta airm acu, ach bhí siad réidh le bheith páirteach san éirí amach ginearálta. Dhíscaoil siad an tráthnóna sin, tháinig siad ar ais le chéile an lá dár gcionn, dhíscaoil siad arís, tháinig siad ar ais le chéile den uair dheireanach an mhaidin dár gcionn, Domhnach Cásca, agus chuaigh siad abhaile an tráthnóna sin. Bhí mearbhall ar gach duine mar gur tugadh freasordú ar na horduithe tosaigh agus ní raibh a fhios ag aon duine cá raibh siad ceaptha a bheith nó céard a bhí in ainm is a bheith ar siúl acu. Dá bhrí sin, ní raibh aon éirí amach i Muineachán.

Nuair a tháinig scéal faoin éirí amach chomh fada le Muineachán, cháin Náisiúnaigh Chaitliceacha agus Aontachtaithe Protastúnacha araon é. Thagair an chéad eagrán den Dundalk Democrat tar éis an Éirí Amach dó mar ‘ghníomh mire’. Scair comhlachtaí rialtais áitiúla iad féin ó na gníomhaíochtaí reibiliúnacha. Luaigh rún de chuid Chomhairle Contae Mhuineacháin gur cheap siad gur ‘mhór an náire…na nithe a tharla le déanaí i mBaile Átha Cliath inar bhásaigh go leor de shaighdiúirí agus de shibhialtaigh an Rí’.

Ag cruinniú de chuid Bhord Bhardaigh Dhlí na mBocht Charraig Mhachaire Rois, gheall an Cathaoirleach, Edward Kelly, tacaíocht na mBardach do John Redmond: “Bhí sé an-sásta go raibh spiorad chomh lag i muintir Shinn Féin i gCarraig Mhachaire Rois gur shábháil siad iad féin an uair seo…Ba cheart go mbeadh gach duine sásta gur lámhach na húdaráis ceannairí na reibiliúnaithe—mar is é sin atá iontu, dornán beag réabhlóidithe. Deirim é agus fios agam go bhfuil an preas anseo agus go bhfoilseofar é… Tá náire orainn mar gheall orthu.”

Scair freagra den chineál sin tacadóirí bunaithe an Pháirtí Phoblachtaigh ón nglúin níos óige de mhuintir Shinn Féin a mealladh mar gheall ar chrógacht thírghrách na gceannairí reibiliúnacha. Thug na daoine a throid i gCogadh na Saoirse ina dhiaidh sin fianaise gur spreagadh an borradh faoi náisiúnachas míleata mar gur cuireadh ceannairí 1916 chun báis. I 1966, dúirt Tom Carragher as Domhnach Maighean, a bhí ar cheann de na ceannairí IRA ba mhó le rá i ndeisceart Mhuineacháin i rith Chogadh na Saoirse: ‘Tar éis an Éirí Amach bhí sé an-chiúin ar dtús, ansin bhí cogar a d’fhás agus a d’fhás go dtí go raibh torann aisteach ann, agus faoi 1918 bhí pictiúr de Phádraig Mac Piarais crochta ar bhalla gach cistine.’

Go suntasach, fógraíodh go forleathan gur rugadh beirt tuismitheoirí Shéamais Uí Chonghaile i Muineachán. Spreag an bealach ar cuireadh chun báis é—gur ceanglaíodh de chathaoir é mar gheall ar na gortuithe a bhain dó—uafás poiblí agus chothaigh sé searbhas domhain agus amhras mór ní amháin ar rún na Breataine ach ar chumas an Pháirtí Phoblachtaigh le déileáil leo.

Bhí na himeachtaí a tharla tar éis an Éirí Amach ríthábhachtach chomh maith. Bhí gabháil na gcéadta fear óg, nach raibh páirt ar bith acu san Éirí Amach, fritorthúil. Faoi mhí na Nollag 1917, bhí 35 cumann de Shinn Féin sa chontae ina raibh ballraíocht mheasta de 1,800 ar an iomlán. Bhí an taoide casta i bhfabhar Shinn Féin, agus bhí Éire ag dul i dtreo streachailt faoi airm i gcomhair neamhspleáchais.

Cuimhneacháin Céad Bliain Mhuineacháin

Beidh an comóradh ar na himeachtaí círéibeacha seo a chuir tús le Poblacht na hÉireann ilghnéitheach. Tiocfaidh muintir Chontae Mhuineacháin le chéile le cuimhneamh agus féachaint siar ar an gcaoi ar athraigh 1916 stair na hÉireann, agus ar an gcaoi ar thug na himeachtaí sin go dtí Poblacht an lae inniu muid. Déanfar é seo trí raon leathan tionscnamh lena n-áirítear cainteanna, turais, taispeántais, taibhithe agus imeachtaí pobail áitiúla. Cuirtear forbhreathnú mionsonraithe ar an gclár spreagúil seo, mar atá faoi láthair, i láthair sa cháipéis seo.

Tá comhaltaí foirne ó Chomhairle Contae Mhuineacháin ón leabharlann, ó earnálacha corparáideacha, oidhreachta, ealaíon, turasóireachta agus músaeim mar aon le Comhairleoirí Contae Mhuineacháin chun ionadaíocht a dhéanamh ar gach grúpáil pholaitíochta a shuíonn ar an gComhairle ar Choiste Comórtha 1916 Mhuineacháin. Mar chuid den chéim pleanála pobail, reáchtáladh tráthnóna comhairliúcháin phoiblí. Tugadh cuireadh do gach grúpa agus don phobal i gcoitinn freastal ar an imeacht agus aon smaointe a mheas siad a dhéanfadh comóradh ceart ar an Éirí Amach agus ar a oidhreacht a chur i láthair. Taifeadadh na tionscadail fhéideartha seo ar fad agus bhí siad ina gcuid lárnach de phleanáil an choiste i gcomhair Mhuineachán 2016. Tar éis an imeachta phoiblí seo, cuireadh clár deontais ar fáil ar fud an chontae le cuidiú le grúpaí poiblí le céad chéim pleanála a dtionscadal sa dara leath de 2015. A bhuíochas don chomhairliúchán poiblí leathan agus fairsing seo, taithí faoi threoir an phobail a bheidh i gclár imeachtaí Mhuineachán 2016 amach is amach, a thabharfaidh deis do gach saoránach sa chontae foghlaim faoi Éirí Amach 1916, smaoineamh faoi agus comóradh a dhéanamh ar an Éirí Amach agus ar an méid atá i gceist leis dóibh siúd.

Tá Éire 2016: Clár Comórtha Céad Bliain bunaithe ar Sheacht Snáithe Cláir a léiríonn téamaí maidir le cuimhneamh, réiteach, cur i láthair, samhlú agus ceiliúradh nuair a thógtar le chéile iad.

Thug an tAire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta ról foirmiúil d’Údaráis Áitiúla chun clár comórtha ag leibhéal contae a cheapadh agus a sheachadadh. Threoraigh Comhairle Contae Mhuineacháin forbairt an phlean seo i gcomhar leis an bpobal.

Beidh pobail lárnach i bpleanáil agus i seachadadh an chláir chun comóradh a dhéanamh ag leibhéal Contae. Bhí an pobal níos leithne i Muineachán páirteach i bhforbairt an phlean seo, tríd an ngairm ar aighneachtaí i mí Iúil 2015, agus trí cheardlann phoiblí a reáchtáladh i mí na Bealtaine 2015, ar ar fhreastail os cionn céad duine.

Leagadh amach in go leor de na haighneachtaí agus de na tuairimí a tugadh sna ceardlanna na rudaí a bhí á bpleanáil ag pobail ar fud Mhuineacháin cheana féin chun 1916 a chomóradh, agus chomh maith leis sin tugadh sonraí na rudaí a chreideann daoine agus grúpaí is ceart a dhéanamh ag leibhéal contae agus níos leithne don chomóradh. Rinneadh breithniú cúramach ar gach aighneacht agus léirítear iad sa phlean seo.

Mar aon leis sin, seoladh scéim deontais um Thionscnamh Síolchiste i mí Iúil 2015 agus fuarthas 43 iarratas ar thacaíocht faoin dáta deiridh i mí Iúil. Áirítear sonraí thionscadail phobail a faomhadh le haghaidh maoiniú sna codanna ábhartha den phlean seo, arna gcatagóiriú faoin snáithe cláir ábhartha agus sa DréachtFhéilire Imeachtaí.

Leithdháileadh deontais go dtí seo ar thionscadail a tharlóidh in 2015 agus in 2016, mar thionscadail astu féin, nó mar réiteach d’imeachtaí agus do thionscadail a bheidh ag tarlú in 2016.

I rith 2016, beidh deis againn machnamh a dhéanamh ar 1916, ar na himeachtaí a tharla roimh an Éirí Amach agus ina dhiaidh, ar na daoine agus ar na grúpaí a bhí páirteach agus ar na tionchair, idir dhearfach agus dhiúltach, ar Éirinn an lae inniu.

Ceadóidh an machnamh seo dúinn réiteach go hiomlán, i gcomhar leis an bpobal, i gcomhair comóradh bríoch ar 1916, trí chlár rannpháirtíochta agus comhairliúcháin phoiblí.

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Faigh an nuacht is déanaí ó fhoireann Éire 2016, imeachtaí nua agus athruithe ar an gclár ina measc.

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