In writing the book – and as a result of responses to it I’ve received through social media – I’ve learned much about Marion and her comrades. I've also learned a great deal about how little most Irish men and women were taught about what happened outside the capital before, during and after Easter Week. The reasons for that ignorance are complex and, I believe, should be explored and understood as part of the centenary commemorations. It’s heartening, therefore, to see how many stories are emerging across the country.
|Neillí Mhuiris Ní Conchubhair and her brother James.|
|An Buailtín April 22nd 2016|
Among those who attended the preparations for the re-enactment wearing their families' 1916 medals was the nephew of Mary Sheehy (Mold) of Baile Eaglaise who, like her neighbour Neillí here in Corca Dhuibhne and Marion in Enniscorthy, was only in her teens when she joined Cumann na mBan. During the War of Independence that followed the Rising, Mary Sheehy and other Cumann na mBan members all over Ireland acted as a network of support for their male companions in arms. Gearóid Mac an tSíthigh, Mary's nephew, said he was there to make sure she was remembered.
As I'm typing this the marchers are on their way to Dingle.
Tonight they'll cross The Conor Pass.
And in a Gaeltacht area where the oral tradition still flourishes the story of An tSiúlóid Mhór will be remembered and passed on as integral to the story of the Rising.
|Mary Sheehy's Cumann na mBan medals|