Successful community effort see’s O’Donovan Rossa remembered in Liverpool

It took months to plan but in the end a unique aspect of Liverpool Irish history was successfully re-enacted in Liverpool yesterday when hundreds marched behind a replica funeral casket that held the coffin of Irish patriot Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, on the centenary year of the original landing of his body in Liverpool.



Organised by Irish community campaigning group, Cairde na hEireann Liverpool (Liverpool Friends of Ireland), yesterdays event retraced the exact steps taken by the men of A and B Company’s of the Irish Volunteers in Liverpool in 1915, when they carried on their shoulders the funeral casket of O’Donovan Rossa from Princes Landing Stage to Nelson Dock nearly 2 miles away. The coffin escort was led at the time by Captain Frank Thornton, who along with many of the men of that day, was to later take part in the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule in Ireland.



The day was made more special by the participation of members of the Irish community who dressed in period costume and replica Irish Volunteer uniforms.  The participants led the parade from Holy Cross in Liverpool, an area with strong Irish connections, through Liverpool city centre to meet the replica funeral casket at Pier Head, close to the original Princes Landing Stage. In line with the statement made by Captain Frank Thornton following the landing of the funeral casket in 1915, O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral casket was then carried on the shoulders of the re-enactors on the 2 mile journey to Nelson Dock supported by the 4 flute marching bands. At Nelson’s Dock the re-enactment was ended by the playing of Amran Na bFhiann (Irish national anthem).



A function held later at St Michaels Irish Centre heard speeches from Seanna Walsh, Belfast Sinn Fein Councillor who outlined the crucial role that O’Donovan Rossa played in the fight for Irish freedom at the time and how his death and burial inspired a generation of Irish women and men to re-double their efforts to achieve Irish self-government and Irish sovereignty. Also heard was a reading delivered by local music artist Ian Prowse of the graveside oration given by the executed Easter Rising leader, Patrick Pearse during O’Donovan Rossa’s burial.

Yesterday’s successful re-enactment shows the important role that the Irish in  Liverpool played in Irish political history. It also shows the entitlement of todays Irish community in Liverpool to play its part in remembrance of its history and its heroes. As the Decade of Centenaries proceeds it is important that the rights of the Irish in Liverpool and the Irish across England, Scotland and Wales to commemorate its history is respected. In the coming years, Cairde na hEireann Liverpool plans further innovative projects with community participation to commemorate and remember key Irish historical events that involved members of the Liverpool Irish community.




Local commemoration remembers Liverpool volunteers of the Dublin 1916 Easter Rising.

easter1916-1016 imageA local commemoration and parade was held last Sunday in the strongly Irish area of Scotland Road in Liverpool. Organised by Cairde na hEireann Liverpool, up to a 100 local people along with the Liverpool Irish Flute Band (Banna Fluit Learpholl) remembered the Liverpool Irish women and men from the local areas of Vauxhall, Kirkdale, Bootle and Seaforth who participated in the rising against British rule in Dublin 99 years ago this week.


The event also saw the launch of the Liverpool Easter Lily campaign which promotes the wearing of the Lily across the Irish community in remembrance of up to 60 volunteers of the Irish Volunteers and Cumann namBan who fought in the 1916 Easter Rising and in subsequent campaigns for Irish freedom and independence.

CBMTBkEW4AEUVheOrganisers stated that it was important that this part of Liverpool Irish history was remembered and commemorated with pride and the story of the Liverpool women and men who participated in the Rising and fought against British rule was an aspect of the Rising itself that needs to be highlighted, especially as next year marks the 100th anniversary of the rising itself. The role of the Liverpool Irish in the Rising provides a counter narrative to ongoing public events in Liverpool to commemorate World War 1. These Liverpool Irish participants in the Rising rejected the call of Britain’s ruling classes to fight in the fields of Flanders and its associated slaughter, but instead fought against an Empire that refused to grant Irish sovereignty and independence. The commemoration was addressed by Sean Oliver, head of Sinn Fein’s International Department and representative for England, Scotland and Wales who outlined his party’s plans to commemorate the Easter Rising in 2016.  Sean also outlined the central role that Sinn Fein was increasingly playing in Irish political life both north and south of the Irish border in leading the fight back against both the Conservative party’s austerity policies in the north and Fine Gael’s austerity policies in the south.



Liverpool Remembers Irish Citizen Army – 100th Anniversary March and Rally

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool are proud to announce details of our next event commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Irish Citizen Army (ICA). In this Decade of Centenaries, the formation of the ICA of trained trade unionist volunteers by Liverpool-born Irish Trade Unionist James Larkin and Jack White was established in response to attacks by Police and gangs in pay of the employers during the Dublin Lockout of 1913. Other prominent members included James Connolly, Seán O’Casey, Constance Markievicz, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. In 1916, it took part in the Easter Rising – an armed insurrection aimed at ending British rule in Ireland.

The sacrifice of the women and men volunteers of the ICA will be remembered with pride and dignity, as will their struggle for workers rights and the women and men of no property. It is right that we remember them and that they inspire us all to this day.


The Liverpool Irish Community and a Decade of Centenaries.

Cairde na hEireann Liverpool wishes to state its commitment to ensuring that the Liverpool Irish community plays its role in remembering historic events associated with the ‘Decade of Centenaries’.

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Ireland 1912-1922 experienced a huge political upheaval associated with the ending of British rule in a majority of the counties of Ireland and foundation of an independent 26 county Irish state. Important events being commemorated during this period include the Centenary of the Ulster Covenant, the foundation of the Irish Volunteers, Irish Citizen Army, the Home Rule and Land Bills, the 1913 Lockout, the 1916 Easter Rising and many anniversaries relating to World War One including the Gallipoli landings, the Somme offensive and the battle of Messines Ridge. Also of note will be the Literary Revival, the suffrage movement, the struggle for workers’ rights and many other key events and themes of the period.

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Liverpool and the Liverpool Irish community played its part in the events associated with the Decade of Centenaries as witnessed by Irish National Party support in Liverpool for the Home Rule Bill, support for the 1913 Dublin Lockout, formation of the Irish Volunteers in Liverpool and participation in the Easter Rising, and Irish Republican Army in Liverpool 1919-1921.

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Cairde na hEireann Liverpool believes that the Irish community in Liverpool has a right to commemorate these important events in the spirit of historical accuracy, mutual respect, inclusiveness and reconciliation. The Irish community in Liverpool should be rightly proud of its support for Irish independence, workers rights and equality during this period in Irish history and it is right that its commemorations remember the individual women and men who’s histories often remain unwritten and forgotten. As stated previously, Cairde na hEireann Liverpool aims to remember these individuals and organisations during the coming years and that their sacrifices for Irish freedom and equality are justly remembered.ICA2

Easter Rising 100th Anniversary 1916-2016: Remembering Liverpool’s Contribution

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Cairde na hEireann Liverpool remembers with pride the Liverpool Irish volunteers that fought in Dublin during the Easter Rising of 1916 on behalf of the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army. Over the next 3 years leading up to the 100th Anniversary of the Rising, we will be working hard to properly research and honour the memory of  the brave men and women of the Irish diaspora in Liverpool who played their part in the struggle for Irish freedom and the establishment of a new Ireland based on equality, justice and peace. As always, Cairde na hEireann Liverpool leads on the annual Liverpool Easter Lily Campaign to promote the wearing of the Lily in memory of those who lost their lives for the cause of Irish freedom. Wear your Lily with pride.

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Below are the the names of 38 Liverpool Volunteers based in the Kimmage garrison in Dublin just before the Rising started and named in Ann Mathews book ‘The Kimmage Garrison, 1916: Making Billy-can Bombs at Larkfield (Maynooth Studies in Local History)’.

Arthur Agnew, Liverpool

John Bolger Liverpool,

James Bolger Liverpool,

Patrick Caldwell Liverpool,

Charles Caragan Liverpool,

John Carroll Liverpool,

Patrick J. Clinch Liverpool,

Thomas Craven Liverpool,

William Dickenson Liverpool,

Joseph Duffy Liverpool,

Joseph Egan Liverpool,

Martin Gleeson Liverpool,

Joseph Gleeson Liverpool,

Niall Jr Kerr Liverpool,

John Kerr Liverpool,

Thomas Kerr Liverpool,

John King Liverpool,

Patrick King Liverpool,

George King Liverpool,

Seamus Landy Liverpool,

Patrick McDermott Liverpool,

Michael McGarvey Liverpool,

Patrick McMahon Liverpool,

Patrick McManus Liverpool,

Willaim McNeive Liverpool,

Victor Murphy Liverpool,

Willian O Donohue Liverpool,

James O Dowd Liverpool,

Tomás O Murchadha Liverpool,

Michael O Shea Liverpool,

Liam Roche Liverpool,

Pádraig Supple Liverpool,

Hugh Thornton Liverpool,

Patrick Thornton, Liverpool,

Joseph Vise Liverpool,

Martin Walsh Liverpool,

Gilber Ward Liverpool,

Christopher Whelehan Liverpool