Sunday, March 27, 2016

A few brave men & women, and a dream: The Centenary of The 1916 Rising


On this Easter Sunday, I am here in Dublin attending one of the 2016 official State Commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising. Although the Rising actually began on Monday 24 April, 1916, the Irish government has chosen today to officially mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. 

Today, I stand in honour of the life of my paternal granduncle Michael 'Mick' Francis Magee. In 1916, at the age of 18 years, Michael fought with ‘A’ Company, Dublin Brigade, serving as a Section Commander in the Four Courts Garrison during the Rising. Following the surrender, subsequent deportation to Stafford Gaol in England, and eventual release of prisoners, Michael returned to Ireland in July of 1916. He continued to serve with ‘A’ Company, 1st Battalion, Dublin Brigade.

During the War of Independence, Michael Magee was the only member of the ambush party wounded during the Abortive Ambush at Drumcondra on 21 January 1921. He was taken prisoner along with five others and transported to Dublin Castle, where Michael was denied attention to his serious wounds. Instead the British forces chose to question him. Michael succumbed to his wounds and died the following day. Michael was only 24 years old.

As I sit among this crowd of people, connected by the fact of our being members of 1916 families, I also commemorate the life of Michael's sister, my grandmother Anne ‘Annie’ Magee Geraghty, who joined the Cumann na mBan in order to support the work of her elder brother. Anne served in ‘A’ Company, 1st Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Cumann na mBan from 1917, including the War of Independence, until the truce of July 1921.

I look forward to reporting back to you the highlights of this event, as well as others I am attending. For now, I wish each one of you and your families a very happy and blessed Easter.

Anne Magee, my paternal grandmother,
and her brother Michael Magee, my granduncle, c.1916.
©irisheyesjgg. All Rights Reserved.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience Jennifer. A very special Commemoration and such a sad story of the loss of a young life. Say g'day to my cousin Maureen if you meet her....another Canadian who is there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pauleen, thanks very much for your comments. It is a very special commemoration indeed. It's estimated that around 250,000 attended the event. Much to my delight I was seated with two women whose grandmothers were in the same branch of Cumann na mBan as my grandmother. I hope your cousin Maureen enjoyed the day too.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

      Delete
  2. Jenn, thank you for sharing your journey with us. I'm sure your grandmother and your granduncle are very proud of you. I hope the Irish weather is treating you well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charlotte, thanks very much for your comments. I do hope I make my family members proud. The weather has been great overall — lots of sunny days with just a little rain — though it was freezing cold early in the morning on Easter Sunday. Thank goodness the sun came out. It was shining all through the commemoration ceremony and then it rained for about 5 minutes just after it ended.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

      Delete

Comments on this blog are always deeply appreciated; however, in the spirit of true collegiality, I ask that you do not write something you would not say to me in person.

This blog is CAPTCHA free, but because of spammers, comments moderation is in operation for posts older than two days.

Any comments that are mean-spirited, include URLs which are not connected to the post topic, contain misinformation, or in any way resemble advertising, will be removed.

Cheers, Jennifer

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...