This Centenary year of the 1916 Uprising, has seen celebrations and events across the country commemorating this historic event and paying tribute to those individuals involved in the Rising. Regarded by many as the catalyst for Ireland’s independence from the British Crown, the Rising was a pivotal event in Irish history and has been an event widely published through various platforms; literature, poetry, painting, theatre, television and film to name a few.
While not being a journal focused solely on the Irish context, the SAH Journal fittingly decided to adopt this momentous event as the general theme for its third issue; which includes five original pieces of academic research centred around the Rising or its leaders, an interview with prominent Irish historian R.V. Comerford and culminating with three original pieces of poetry influenced by the events of April 1916.
In the aftermath of the Easter Rising, Richmond Barracks was the location used to hold almost 3,000 rebels involved in the Rising, as they awaited sentencing before being sent to prison camps in England or Wales. As well as being the holding centre for these men and women, it was also the location where the leaders of the Rising were identified and court-martialled before being taken to Kilmainham Gaol for execution. Of the 90 sentences handed out in Richmond Barracks, 14 executions were carried out at Kilmainham Gaol.
Given its historical importance in the context of the 1916 Easter Rising, Richmond Barracks was an apt location for the launch of the first issue of SAH Journal’s second volume. Launched in June, the event included a staged performance of The Sanctifying Thing, the life of P.H. Pearse in Poetry, Prose and Music. Other events on the night included a tour of the development of Pearse’s character and politics, with performed extracts from his writings by Bryan Murray. Pieces included the graveside oration for O’Donovan Rossa, the court-martial speech, and passages from Pearse’s prose fiction and poetry. A sequence of diary entries from his friend Mary Hayden gave a unique glimpse into the private man, and Pearse’s songs were presented in the harp arrangements of his sister, Mary Brigid.
A special thanks must be given to Éadaoin Ní Chléirigh, Director of Richmond Barracks for hosting the launch, Dr Mícheál Ó Fathartaigh the Guest Editor of the issue and to Dr Eunan O’Halpin, the keynote speaker on the night.
Below are some of the photographs taken on the night, provided with kind permission of John Lee and Marie O’Neill.
By Ryan O’Dea
We are now accepting submissions for our next edition.