Wicklow Cill Mhantáin

Powerscourt Waterfall

Wicklow County Council 2016 Steering Group has worked together to produce an ambitious programme to commemorate the events of Easter 1916 in a respectful and sensitive manner

D’oibrigh Grúpa Stiúrtha 2016 Chomhairle Contae Chill Mhantáin le chéile chun clár uaillmhianach a chur le chéile chun comóradh a dhéanamh ar imeachtaí na Cásca 1916 agus chun é sin a dhéanamh le hómós agus go tuisceanach.

This programme follows consultation with the public, including open community workshops and a call for the public to submit their projects and ideas for grant aid support. These have been received and assessed. In addition, Wicklow County Council 2016 Steering Group is also developing projects which will form a central part of the upcoming calendar of events.

Historical Context

County Wicklow was the last of the traditional counties of Ireland to be shired in 1606 from land previously part of counties Dublin and Carlow. Established as a distinct county, it was aimed at controlling local groups such as the O’Byrnes, in particular its late 16th century leader, Feagh MacHugh O’Byrne:

Feagh MacHugh of the Mountain, Feagh MacHugh of the Glen -Who has not heard of the Glenmalure chief and the feats of his hard-riding men?

The Military Road, stretching from Rathfarnham to Aghavannagh, which crosses the mountains, north to south, was built by the British army to assist them in defeating the rebels still active in the Wicklow Mountains following the 1798 rebellion. It provided them with access to an area that had been a hotbed of Irish rebellion for centuries. This tradition continued into the 20th century.

James MacSweeney states that “following a meeting in the Rotunda Gardens, Dublin, in November 1913 to organise the Irish Volunteers where addresses were delivered by leaders, notably P. H. Pearse, the first company of this organisation was formed in Bray”. The Howth and Kilcoole gun running of summer 2014 increased interest and numbers in the movement. A split in the Irish Volunteers in November 1914, depleted numbers loyal to the original Volunteers.

The cancellation of the Rising, originally set for Easter Sunday, led to some confusion. As a result, the Bray Company took no official part in the rising, other than cutting telephone lines in the town. Two of its members did, however, take part in the fight – Stephen (Steenie) Mulvey and Tom Sutton. The former managed to get to the GPO and fought there from Tuesday to its surrender.

Desmond Fitzgerald (father of future Taoiseach, Garret Fitzgerald) gives a detailed, first hand account of his involvement with the Irish Volunteers. In early 1915, Fitzgerald was sent from Kerry to north east County Wicklow, with responsibility for enrolling and training Irish Volunteer recruits from that area. He said “Wicklow county from Bray, to within twenty miles of Arklow post office was open to me”. Fitzgerald, on moving to Bray, recounts his direct dealings with Arthur Griffith, The O’Rahilly, Cathal Brugha, and Eoin MacNeill. He recalls: “As we approached the post office, we saw the Flag being hoisted over the roof, and Mr. Pearse standing on the street outside. It seemed almost impossible that this should really have happened. I said to my wife “this is worth being wiped out for”. As my wife and I hurried forward, Pearse saw me and came towards me with a welcome. He looked rather graver than usual. I felt that while he had something of elation there was also a heavy sense of responsibility. He told me that O’Rahilly was in the post office, that he was in charge of one side of the top part, and he appointed me O’Rahilly’s adjutant”.

County Wicklow had many further links with 1916 including:

• Harry Walpole (Bray) raised the flag on Dublin’s GPO

• Elizabeth O’Farrell accompanied Padraig Pearse to surrender to General Lowe. She died in 1957, in Fatima Hall, Bray

• James Connolly has many Wicklow connections: his wife, Lily Reynolds, was born in county Wicklow. His son, Roderic James, died in Bray and his daughter, Maura is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Bray

• Enniskerry native, Josephine Wogan, a nurse in Dublin Castle, prepared James Connolly, before he was taken to Kilmainham The Proclamation was signed in the Henry Street shop of Jenny Wyse Power (born Jane O’Toole, Baltinglass).

• Nurse Keogh, a native of Baltinglass, was the first civilian to be killed in the 1916 Rising

• 1916 leaders, Edward Daly and The O’Rahilly, lived in Bray

• Robert Erskine Childers and his cousin, Robert Barton, lived at Glendalough House, Annamoe

• Robert Montieth of Newtownmountkennedy, officer in charge of the Irish Brigade, was in Germany with Casement. Roger Casement’s cousins owned Cronroe House, Ashford – now Belair Hotel

• Annie P. Smithson (Bray) and Maire Comerford (Rathdrum) were both imprisoned in Mountjoy after the Rising

• Irish Volunteer, Joseph Byrne of Wicklow town, was killed at Bolands’ Mills.

• John Murphy, Chairman of Rathdown Rural District and Justice of the Peace for county Wicklow was the victim of a civilian shooting. Mr. Murphy was a member of the Greystones Carnegie Library Committee. Greystones Carnegie Library Committee Minutes Book 1912 -1939 (meeting of May 1916 states): “The chairman proposed a resolution of regret and sympathy on the death of Mr. John Murphy... who met his death under very sad circumstances during the disturbances of Easter week. Mr. Murphy was a kind and courteous friend of the Carnegie Library, Greystones and to his exertions were due the inception and establishment of the library in Greystones. That we, the members of the Library Committee desire to put on record, our deep regret and sympathy with the widow and relatives of deceased. Passed in silence”.

Community Engagement & Highlights

Wicklow County Council’s programme of events will have something for all, from historical festivals and re-enactments to book publications, drama and imagination. Some of our flagship events include:

• Development of a Downloadable app “1916WicklowLife” which will feature extracts from the county Wicklow newspapers, The Wicklow people and The Wicklow Newsletter, including articles about events in Wicklow, as well as advertisements from January 2016. Users will receive weekly updates on the newspapers from 100 years ago.

• Following the Rising, granite from McEvoy’s quarry in Ballyknockan was used to rebuild the GPO. This will be honoured in an oral history of Lacken, Ballyknockan and Valleymount

• A choral event with involvement from 300 members of amateur community choirs and 50 children from Music Generation Wicklow Children’s Choir.

• Words to the Wind will give 1916 contemporary relevance especially for young people. This involves the production of an animated film incorporating a combination of handmade sets, lego minifigures and technology based on the key events of 1916. The film will be distributed to all primary schools in county Wicklow.

• The Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, will host Cine-Concert: Irish Destiny from the National Film Institute – with grand piano accompaniment by Micheál Ó Suilleabháin. This silent feature drama was released on Easter Sunday 1926, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. The film is a love story set against the backdrop of the War of Independence and was shot in Enniskerry village. Films and newsreels from the 1916 period will also feature.

More details on these and other programmes are on our dedicated website www.wicklow1916.com.

Read more

Chuathas i gcomhairle leis an bpobal sular cuireadh an clár seo le chéile, lena n-áirítear ceardlanna oscailte don phobal agus iarradh ar an bpobal a gcuid tionscadal agus a gcuid smaointe a chur isteach i gcomhair tacaíocht deontais. Fuarthas iad sin agus rinneadh measúnú orthu. Ina theannta sin, tá tionscadail á bhforbairt ag Grúpa Stiúrtha 2016 Chomhairle Contae Chill Mhantáin a bheidh mar chuid lárnach den fhéilire imeachtaí atá le teacht.

An Comhthéacs Stairiúil

Bhí Contae Chill Mhantáin ar cheann de na contaetha traidisiúnta deiridh in Éirinn a síríodh i 1606 ó thalamh a bhí mar chuid de chontaetha Bhaile Átha Cliath agus Cheatharlach roimhe sin. Bunaíodh é mar chontae ar leith, agus bhí sé mar aidhm grúpaí áitiúla mar mhuintir Uí Bhroin a chur faoi smacht, go háirithe a gceannaire ó dheireadh an 16ú haois, Fiach Mac Aodha Ó Broin:

Feagh MacHugh of the Mountain, Feagh MacHugh of the Glen - Who has not heard of the Glenmalure chief and the feats of his hard-riding men?

Thóg arm na Breataine an Bóthar Míleata, a shíneann ó Ráth Fearnáin go hAchadh Mheánach, agus a théann trasna na sléibhte, ó thuaidh go dtí ó dheas, chun cuidiú leo na ceannaircigh a bhí fós gníomhach i Sléibhte Chill Mhantáin a chur faoi chois tar éis éirí amach 1798. Bhí siad in ann an bóthar a úsáid le dul isteach i limistéar a bhí ina cheárta ag éirí amach Éireannach leis na céadta bliain. Leanadh den traidisiún sin isteach sa 20ú haois.

Luann James MacSweeney “i ndiaidh cruinniú i nGairdíní Rotunda, Baile Átha Cliath, i mí na Samhna 1913 chun Óglaigh na hÉireann a eagrú áit ar thug ceannairí aithisc, go mór mór Pádraig Mac Piarais, bunaíodh an chéad chomplacht den eagraíocht seo i mBré” [aistriúchán]. Mhúscail tabhairt i dtír na ngunnaí i mBinn Éadair agus i gCill Chomhghaill i samhradh na bliana 1914 spéis an phobail agus tháinig méadú ar líon na ndaoine a bhí páirteach sa ghluaiseacht. De bharr scoilteadh in Óglaigh na hÉireann i mí na Samhna 1914, tháinig laghdú ar líon na ndaoine a bhí dílis do na hÓglaigh a bhí ann an chéad lá riamh.

D’fhág cealú an Éirí Amach, a bhí socraithe ar dtús le haghaidh Dhomhnach Cásca, mearbhall ar chuid mhaith. Mar gheall air sin, ní raibh aon pháirt oifigiúil ag Complacht Bhré san éirí amach, seachas línte teileafóin a ghearradh sa bhaile. Bhí beirt de na baill, áfach, páirteach sa trodaíocht – Stephen (Steenie) Mulvey agus Tom Sutton. D’éirigh le Sutton dul chomh fada leis an GPO agus throid sé ansin ón Máirt go dtí gur ghéill sé.

Tugann Desmond Fitzgerald (athair an Taoisigh ina dhiaidh sin, Garret Fitzgerald) cuntas mionsonraithe, pearsanta den bhaint a bhí aige féin le hÓglaigh na hÉireann. Go luath i 1915, cuireadh Fitzgerald aníos as Ciarraí go dtí oirthuaisceart Chontae Chill Mhantáin, agus bhí sé freagrach as earcaithe de chuid Óglaigh na hÉireann ón gceantar sin a rollú agus a chur faoi oiliúint. Deir sé “Bhí contae Chill Mhantáin ó Bhré, go dtí i bhfoisceacht scór míle den oifig phoist san Inbhear Mór faoi mo chúram”. Tugann Fitzgerald, ar bhogadh go Bré dó, cuntas ar an bplé díreach a bhí aige le Arthur Griffith, leis an Rathaileach, le Cathal Brugha, agus le hEoin MacNeill. Deir sé: “De réir mar a theannamar le hoifig an phoist, chonaiceamar an Bhratach á hardú ar an díon, agus Mac Piarais ina sheasamh amuigh ar an tsráid. Shílfeá nach dtarlódh a leithéid de rud go deo. Dúirt mé le mo bhean chéile “is fiú bás a fháil ar son na cúise”. De réir mar a rith mé féin agus mo bhean chéile chun tosaigh, chonaic Mac Piarais mé agus chuir sé fáilte romham. Bhí ualach éigin air, shílfeá. Bhí a fhios agam go raibh sé lúcháireach ach ag an am céanna d’aithneofá gur bhraith sé freagracht ollmhór a bheith air. Dúirt sé liom go raibh O’Reilly in oifig an phoist, go raibh sé i gceannas ar thaobh amháin den phíosa bairr, agus rinne sé aidiúnach de chuid O’Reilly díom”.

Bhí cuid mhaith nasc ag Contae Chill Mhantáin le 1916 lena n-áirítear:

• D’ardaigh Harry Walpole (Bré) an bhratach ar Ard-Oifig an Phoist i mBaile Átha Cliath

• Chuaigh Elizabeth O’Farrell in éineacht le Pádraig Mac Piarais chun géilleadh don Ghinearál Lowe. Fuair sí bás i 1957, i Halla Fatima, Bré Is iomaí ceangal a bhí ag Séamas Ó Conghaile le Cill Mhantáin: rugadh a bhean chéile, Lily Reynolds, i gContae Chill Mhantáin. Fuair a mhac, Roderic James, bás i mBré agus tá a iníon, Maura, curtha i Reilig Naomh Peadar, Bré

• Ba í Josephine Wogan, as Áth na Sceire ó dhúchas, a bhí ina haltra i gCaisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath, a réitigh James Connolly, sular tugadh go Cill Mhaighneann é

• Síníodh an Forógra i siopa Jenny Wyse Power (Jane O’Toole, as Bealach Conglais ó dhúchas) ar Shráid Anraí.

• Ba í an Bhanaltra Keogh, as Bealach Conglais ó dhúchas, an chéad saoránach a maraíodh in Éirí Amach 1916

• Bhí cónaí ar cheannairí 1916, Edward Daly agus an Rathaileach, i mBré

• Bhí cónaí ar Robert Erskine Childers agus ar a chol ceathrar, Robert Barton, ag Teach Ghleann Dá Loch, Áth na mBó

• Bhí Robert Montieth as Baile an Chinnéidigh, an t-oifigeach a bhí i gceannas ar Bhriogáid na hÉireann, sa Ghearmáin in éineacht le Ruairí Mac Easmainn. Ba le col ceathracha Ruairí Mhic Easmainn Teach Cronroe, Áth na Fuinseoige – Óstán Belair anois

• Cuireadh Annie P. Smithson (Bré) agus Máire Comerford (Ráth Droma) i bpríosún Mhuinseo tar éis an Éirí Amach

• Maraíodh Joseph Byrne as baile Chill Mhantáin, agus a bhí in Óglaigh na hÉireann, ag Muileann Boland.

• Lámhachadh John Murphy, Cathaoirleach Cheantar Tuaithe Ráth an Dúin agus Giúistís Síochána do chontae Chill Mhantáin. Bhí an tUasal Murphy ina bhall de Choiste Leabharlainne Carnegie na gCloch Liath. Leabhar Miontuairiscí Choiste Leabharlainne Carnegie na gCloch Liath 1912-1939 (luaitear le cruinniú mhí na Bealtaine 1916): “Mhol an cathaoirleach rún aiféala agus comhbhróin ar bhás an Uasail John Murphy,... a bhásaigh i gcúinsí an-truamhéalacha i rith sheachtain na Cásca. B’fhear lách agus cara dílis dúinn an tUasal Murphy i Leabharlann Carnegie, na Clocha Liatha agus is de bharr a chuid oibre a osclaíodh agus a bunaíodh an leabharlann sna Clocha Liatha. Is mian linn, baill an Choiste Leabharlainne a chur ar an taifead, gur oth linn a bhás agus go ndéanaimid comhbhrón le baintreach agus le gaolta an mharbháin. Imithe ar shlí na fírinne”.

Rannpháirtíocht Phobail & Buaicphointí

Beidh rud éigin i gclár imeachtaí Chomhairle Contae Chill Mhantáin do gach duine, idir fhéilte stairiúla agus léirithe aithrise, fhoilseacháin leabhar, dhrámaí agus an tsamhlaíocht. Seo cur síos ar roinnt dár n-imeachtaí móra:

• Forbairt ar aip is féidir a íoslódáil “1916WicklowLife” ina mbeidh sliocht as nuachtáin chontae Chill Mhantáin, The Wicklow people agus The Wicklow Newsletter, lena n-áirítear ailt faoi imeachtaí i gCill Mhantáin, chomh maith le fógraí ó mhí Eanáir 2016. Gheobhaidh úsáideoirí nuashonruithe gach seachtain ar na nuachtáin a bhí ann 100 bliain ó shin.

• I ndiaidh an Éirí Amach, úsáideadh eibhear as cairéal McEvoy i mBuaile an Chnocáin chun Ard-Oifig an Phoist a atógáil. Tabharfar ómós dó sin i stairsheanchas na Leacan, Bhuaile an Chnocáin agus na Croise

• Imeacht córúil lena mbeidh baint ag 300 ball as cóir amaitéaracha ón bpobal agus 50 leanbh as Cór Leanaí Chill Mhantáin, Glúin an Cheoil.

• Tabharfaidh Words to the Wind ábharthacht chomhaimseartha do 1916 go háirithe i gcás na ndaoine óga. Leis sin léireofar scannán beochana ina mbeidh meascán de sheiteanna lámhdhéanta, pearsana beaga Lego agus teicneolaíocht bunaithe ar phríomhimeachtaí 1916. Beidh deis ag gach bunscoil i gcontae Chill Mhantáin an scannán a fheiceáil.

• Beidh Irish Destiny Cine-Concert ó Institiúid Náisiúnta na Scannán, Éire ar bun in Ionad Ealaíon Mermaid i mBré – agus beidh tionlacan mórphianó ó Mhicheál Ó Súilleabháin leis. Eisíodh an gné- dráma gan focail Domhnach Cásca 1926, cothrom deich mbliana ó bhí Éirí Amach 1916 ann. Is scéal grá é an scannán atá bunaithe ar chúlra Chogadh na Saoirse agus rinneadh an scannánaíocht i sráidbhaile Áth na Sceire. Beidh scannáin agus nuachtscannáin ó thréimhse 1916 le feiceáil freisin.

Tá tuilleadh sonraí maidir leo sin agus cláir eile le feiceáil ar ár suíomh gréasáin speisialta www. wicklow1916.com.

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