The Riverside Park Hotel Enniscorthy was the venue for a very well attended public meeting on Thursday last 19th March 2015, when over 150 people from all over County Wexford met to develop, consider and agree a Programme of Celebratory Events to commerate the Centenary of the Easter 1916 Rising in County Wexford.
The organising Committee, under the leadership of Wexford County Council, convened the meeting to engage with all those with an interest Wexford’s prominent role in the 1916 Rising, with a view to developing a comprehensive series of appropriate events to commerate the Centenary of the Easter 1916 Rising in County Wexford.
Facilitator on the night was Wexford County Council County Librarian Fionnuala Hanrahan, who described the meeting as “fundamental to the organising committee’s plans to enlist the enthusiasm and wholehearted support of the public for the proposed Programme of Events, which promises to be ambitious in scale, range and depth”.
Among those attending the public meeting were descendents of those who took part in the Rising in County Wexford, together with public representatives, local historians, community groups, school representatives and many members of the public with an interest in developing and supporting the proposed Celebratory Programme. Contributions and suggestions gathered on the night will now be collated for evaluation by the organising Committee and considered for inclusion on the County’s planned 2016 Commerative Programme.
Attendees at the meeting were also given details of plans to host the 2015 Enniscorthy Easter Monday Commerative ceremonies. These annual Easter Monday commemoration which have been held in Enniscorthy for almost the last 50 year will take place on 6th April 2015 and pave the way for the next year’s Easter 2016 Centenary celebrations.
This year’s Easter Monday Commemoration begin at 10am with a commemorative mass celebrated in St. Aidan’s Cathedral. Following mass, a 1916 parade led by members of the Irish Defence Forces will assemble at St. Aidan’s Cathedral, march through the town and finish at Market Square. The sacrifices and significant achievements of all Wexford people who fought in the 1916 rising will be remembered with a special ceremony in Market Square. Events include, reading of The Proclamation, sounding the Last Post, playing the National Anthem and laying wreaths in memory of all Wexford people who participated in the 1916 Rising.
Following the ceremony re-enactment groups from all across Ireland will converge on Market Square to re-create a 1916 era Battle. Re-enactors dressed in Irish Volunteers and Cumman na mBan uniforms will lead an assault on an RIC Barracks defended by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary. Spectators will experience the sights and sounds of battle as history comes to life on the streets of Enniscorthy and is an event not to be missed.
Enniscorthy is remembered as the only town outside of Dublin to rise in Easter 1916. For four days the town was controlled by local Irish Volunteers and Cumman na mBan members, while the tricolor flew over the Athenaeum. Meanwhile, a second column of Volunteers began proceeding northwards to relive their beleaguered comrades in Dublin, liberating the villages of Ferns and Camolin in the process. Enniscorthy also holds the accolade of being the last location in Ireland to surrender on Easter 1916, only doing so after receiving direct orders from proclamation signatory Padraig Pearse.