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Last Updated
 07/05/2016 


Margaret Skinnider (1892 - 1971)

Scottish-born suffragette, Irish Republican and veteran of the 1916 Easter Rising

Margaret Skinnider, the youngest of five children, was born to James Skinnider and Jane Dowd on May 28, 1892 in Coatbridge on the outskirts of Glasgow in Scotland.  Her father was born in Cornagilta in Co. Monaghan and her mother in Barrhead in East Renfrewshire, Scotland.

 In the latter half on 19th century Coatbridge was a booming town owing to the discovery of large deposits of coal and iron ore and, consequently, a choice locations for many of the Irish  fleeing the “Great Hunger” of 1845 through 1850.   By 1851 the Irish constituted 35% of the of the town’s population.  By the turn of the 20th century that had dropped to 15% owing to the depletion of the coal and iron ore deposits and the consequent reduction in the work force needed to man the mines and smelters.

 Coatbridge was, and sometimes still is referred to as “little Ireland”, a not so unique distinction in that it was applied to other towns and areas in Scotland including the Cowgate in Edinburgh, the birthplace of James Connolly. During Skinnider’s childhood it had an abundance of Irish social, cultural and political organizations frequented and supported by exiled Irish immigrants. The influence exerted by these organizations on the attitudes and loyalties of the children growing up in places like Coatbridge, particularly, with respect to Ireland and its people, was the real deal as opposed to what they were taught in school which, to them, was unbelievable and, generally, dismissed as propaganda.

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Joseph Denieffe (1833 - 1910)

Founding member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood

Joseph Denieffe was born to Michael and Kathleen Denieffe in Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland in 1833. Other than a brief reference to a brother and two sisters in his memoir titled  "A personal narrative of the Irish revolutionary brotherhood, giving a faithful report of the principal events from 1885 to 1867" there is sparse information available regarding other siblings, or for that matter, his early childhood, his family or his schooling.

Regarding his schooling it would be reasonable to assume that he attended one of the local primary schools that comprised the Irish National School System set-up in 1831 as a result of the passage of 'The Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829generally referred to as 'Catholic Emancipation'

After completing his formal education he started an apprenticeship in the tailoring trade.

 During his childhood years the fervor surrounding the repeal of the Act of Union of 1801 and the associated monster gathering that he attended with his father was a learning experience as well as a realization that all was not well with Ireland's forced union with Britain, a union wherein Ireland was the much-maligned junior partner, controlled and governed by the dictates of a London based parliament with little or no representation or regard for Ireland's working class.. -- continue


Roger Casement (1864 - 1916)

Diplomat, Humanitarian, Irish Nationalist and Poet

Roger Casement, the youngest of four children, was born to Roger Casement and Anne Casement (née Jephson) on Sept.1, 1864 in Sandycove, Co. Dublin. 

Roger father was a British army officer and a member of the Church of Ireland. His mother, who was born into the Catholic faith, converted to Protestantism in order to marry his father. Her conversion to Protestantism was not a guanine act of faith as she secretly continued to attend Mass and celebrate the sacraments.

When Casement was four years old his mother took him and his siblings to visit her sister in Liverpool. During that visit she had him secretly baptized into the Catholic faith in nearby Rhyl in north Wales.  Too young to remember or attach any significance to his baptism he considered himself a Protestant and lived his life accordingly.

After his mother died in 1873 his father sent the children to Magherintemple House, the seat of the Casement family, near Ballycastle in Co. Antrim to be cared for by their great-uncle John Casement and his wife. He himself went to live in Ballymena where he brooded on the loss of his wife’s until his own death in 1877.

After a short stay at Magherintemple House Casement sent to the Ballymena Academy, a Church of Ireland Diocesan Free School, one of the three Diocesan Free Schools remaining in the country.  In 1878 the attendance at the school consisted of six boarders and five day pupils. Casement was one of the boarders.  He was an average student except for languages and ancient history, subjects in which he excelled.   continue

James Larkin (1876-1947)

Labor Leader & Irish Nationalist

James Larkin, the second of six children, was born to James Larkin and Mary Ann Larkin, nee McNulty on January 21, 1876  in the Toxeth Park district of Liverpool in England. The Larkin’s like most of their neighbors left Ireland during or after the Great Hunger of 1845 - 1851 to escape starvation and oppression; ubiquitous and ever-present evils lurking in the shadow of Ireland’s poor city dwellers and peasant farmers. Everything considered, leaving Ireland was the only viable option for the Larkin’s as it was for the millions of their countrymen and women who joined the institutionalized exodus out of Ireland that surged during the years of the Great Hunger and, afterwards, during periods of political oppression or economic stagnation.

Both of James's parents were of tenant farmer stock. His father's family eked out a meager living on a small holding (plot of land) in south Armagh as did his mother’s family in south Down.  Living in near poverty was a way of life for tenant farmers who slaved tirelessly to produce enough food to feed their families and pay rent to the landlord who owned vast landed estates that incorporated their plots. For the landlords who reaped the bounty -- abundance and privilege was the order of the day. continue



 

                                      

They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! - they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.

Padraic Pearse oration given at 

Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa's funeral on Aug. 1, 1915


1916 Easter Rising Centennial Commemoration

The Following videos were shown at a 1916 Easter Rising Centennial Commemoration held in New York on April 24, 2016.

Video 1 pays homage to the Volunteers executed and killed in action 

Video 2 pays homage to the children killed during the week of the Rising.

Click on the images below to download and view the videos

               

                           Video 1                                                            Video 2


Roger Casement's speech from the dock

Roger Casement (1864-1916) was a British consul by profession, well known for his reports and activities against human rights abuses in the Congo. He was executed for treason in August 1916, following the Easter Rising against British rule in Ireland earlier that year. This is the speech he made after his conviction on 29 June.


My Lord Chief Justice, as I wish my words to reach a much wider audience than I see before me here, I intend to read all that I propose to say. What I shall read now is something I wrote more than twenty days ago. I may say, my lord, at once, that I protest against the jurisdiction of this court in my case on this charge, and the argument, that I am now going to read, is addressed not to this court, but to my own countrymen.

There is an objection, possibly not good in law, but surely good on moral grounds, against the application to me here of this old English statute, 565 years old, that seeks to deprive an Irishman today of life and honour, not for "adhering to the King's enemies", but for adhering to his own people.

When this statute was passed, in 1351, what was the state of men's minds on the question of a far higher allegiance -- that of a man to God and His kingdom? The law of that day did not permit a man to forsake his Church, or deny his God, save with his life. The "heretic", then, had the same doom as the "traitor"... continue


Ballykissane Monument, Killorglin, Co. Kerry

Commemorates the deaths of Con Keating, Donal Sheahan and Charlie Monaghan at Ballykissane pier on 21 April 1916 as they attempted to assist the importation of arms on board the Aud for the 1916 Rising.

   Con Keating      Charlie Monaghan      Donal Sheahan

These were the first Volunteers to die in the Easter Rising

 


Roger Casement Monument , Co. Kerry
At a spot on Banna Strand adjacent to here Roger Casement, Robert Monteith and a third man, came ashore from a German submarine on Good Friday morning 21st. April 1916 in furthering the cause of Irish freedom’

 

 

 

 

 


Robert Emmet statue

The Robert Emmet statue was sculpted by Jerome Stanley Connor and is located in the small Emmet Park, near Massachusetts Avenue and 24th Street, in Sheridan Circle.  The inscription on the base of the statue says "Robert Emmet, Irish Patriot, 1778-1803".  The Bronze plaque on the pedestal is inscribed with excerpts from the speech Emmet delivered the day before his execution.

The excerpt from his speech reads

The excerpt from his speech reads: "I wished to procure for my country the guarantee which Washington procured for America. I have parted from everything that was dear to me in this life for my country's cause. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then let my epitaph be written."

 

 


Commodore John Barry Memorial 

It cannot be done, they said.
To John McInerney (left), and Jack O’Brien (right), “cannot be done” was never the right answer.

With Irish tenacity, the two men set out to secure the Commodore’s place in history once and for all. Along with the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the largest Irish Catholic fraternal organization in the US, and their chapters in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia, McInerney and O’Brien took on this project with a resounding and unflinching determination and resilience. No obstacle was insurmountable, no odds were too long, and no goal unachievable.
Through a network of politicians, retired and active admirals and captains, businessmen, and finally retirees with plenty of time to make calls, McInerney and O’Brien made progress. Despite all of the obstacles in their way, despite all of the roadblocks placed in front of them by those who did not wish to see this project through, they marched on, without being deterred, without being discouraged.
And there was much to be discouraged about.
 

Click here to read the story in its entirety


Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa's Monument

St. Stephens Green Dublin

Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa was born in Rosscarbery, County Cork on September 10, 1831 to Irish tenant farmers.  At that time in Ireland, tenant farmers paid rent to absentee landlords who controlled 90% of the arable land. Most of the crops and livestock produced  was being collected and sent to England in lieu of rent. As a consequence, the only means of subsistence left for the people was the lowly potato. When the potato crop failed in the mid1840's the people were left without their primary food source and their only means of paying the rent resulting tens of thousands of tenant farmers being evicted and left to wander the roads and crowd workhouses.

Like many others of his time O'Donovan Rossa witnessed the devastation and squalor caused by what was in essence a contrived famine. That experience left him with an indelible resentment for the British and their unscrupulous landlords who let the people starve to death while ships loaded with wheat, oats, barley, mutton, lamb, pork, ham, beet, eggs, live cattle, sheep and pigs, and flour left Irish ports on a daily basis for England.

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