Today we are able to announce our plans to stage a full re-enactment of the landing of Jeramiah O’Donovan Rosa’s funeral casket at Prince’s Landing Stage Liverpool during 1915 and then onto Nelson Dock. The Re-enactment is planned for Saturday 10th October 2015. Captain Frank Thornton ‘B’ Company Irish Volunteers Liverpool, provided us with an inspiring insight into this event in his statement to the Bureau of Military History:
“At the end of 1915, I got instructions to make arrangements with the old City of Dublin Steampacket Company to have their boat draw alongside the American liner “St. Paul” in the Mersey when O’Donovan Rossa’s body arrived there on that boat. The whole anxiety of our American friends of the Clann na Gaedheal and also of the I.R.B. and the Volunteers in Dublin was as to ensure that O’Donovan Rossa’s body did not touch English soil on its way back for burial to Ireland. All arrangements were made to have the City of Dublin boat alongside, but owing to the late arrival of the “St. Paul”, brought about by bad weather, this was not possible. However, we got over the difficulty in another way. We mobilised fifty members of our Volunteers in Liverpool both from “A” and “B” Companies and boarded the “St. Paul” at Prince’s Landing Stage, and carried O’Donovan Rossa’s body from Prince’s Landing Stage to Nelson Dock on Irish shoulders, and i think that by this means we carried out the wishes of everybody concerned.
We boarded the “St. Paul” at Prince’s Landing Stage on that day and carried O’Donovan Rossa’s remains right along the Dock Road, the journey being over two miles. I think it can be safely claimed that by this method O’Donovan Rossa’s body had landed in Ireland when we took it on our shoulders at Prince’s Landing Stage. The City of Dublin boats at that time were Irish owned and controlled and, on arrival at Nelson Dock, a guard was mounted which remained on duty after numerous reliefs until the boat arrived at North Wall. I was in charge of the party coming across and, on arrival at North Wall , we were met by the Dublin Volunteers, but still continued in charge of the remains which we brought to the Pro-Cathedral in Marlboro’ St. (I am arranging to get the names of all those who came across, later). We were on duty then later on at City Hall and took part in the funeral to Glasnevin”
This is an open invitation to anyone who wants to take part in the re-enactment and escort the funeral casket of O’Donovan Rossa from Pier Head to Nelson Dock in Liverpool. In particular, we would welcome any individuals who possess Irish Volunteer/Irish Citizen Army replica uniforms to be part of the carrying of O’Donovan Rossa’s coffin, or anyone wishing to wear period dress to take a full part in the event.. For Cairde na hEireann Liverpool, this provides us with a great opportunity to re-live a previously unknown aspect of Liverpool Irish history and for our community to play a full and active role in remembrance, as we head toward 2016 and the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information on firstname.lastname@example.org.