Raytown Exhibition launched by Lord Mayor

Pictured: Shay Connolly sings a tribute to Margaret Keogh.

Pictured: Shay Connolly sings a tribute to Margaret Keogh.

Central to the celebrations of the Ringsend Community Week was the Raytown Rebellion Exhibition, which took place in the CYMWS from April 25th – May 1st.

The exhibition was launched by The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Sinn Féin councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh, who spoke of the “dignified response of Dubliners to the commemorations” and of the important role that such ventures play in making the Rising meaningful for local communities.

The Lord Mayor went on to say that we should be proud of the men and women who “took on the might of the British Empire” which proved to an inspiration for anti-colonial movements across the world and suggested that “we look again at the Proclamation and renew our efforts to live up to its ideals.”

Shay Connolly sang a beautiful self-penned tribute to Margaret Keogh and spoke of the importance of women in the Rising, noting that it was good to see this come to the fore in the centenary celebrations.

Derek Molyneux and Darren Kelly, authors of When The Clock Struck in 1916 – Close Quarter Combat in The Easter Rising, gave a dramatic account of the events of Easter week in and around the Ringsend area.

Exhibition curator Sueann Moore (RCSF) worked hard in the months running up to the exhibition to gather together items for display, encouraging members of the local community to look for their own family connections to the Rising and to bring along artefacts such as letters and photographs from the period to share with the community.

Pictured Above: Mary O’Toole and Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh.

Pictured Above: Mary O’Toole and Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh.

In addition there was a colourful presentation of children’s drawings of their favourite 1916 character and copies of the Proclamations produced by local schoolchildren as part of Proclamation Day, which took place throughout the country on March 15th.

The highlight of the exhibition was a remarkable display of historical artefacts collected over the past thirty years by Derek Jones, which includes Irish Volunteers membership cards, memorial cards, rare photographs and handwritten messages from some of the main players in the Rising.

Sueann Moore was keen to thank all who supported the exhibition, especially those who made the effort to dress up in 1916 outfits for the occasion. She wants to extend her thanks to the DCC for the funding, DDA for display boards, RDRD, Kathy Gleeson from the Vintage for the food and drinks, Alice Woods the Lord Mayor of Ringsend, Barbara Doyle and Lorraine from the RICC for their support, Betty Barry and the directors of CYMS for the hall, the Dockers Preservation Society and all those who helped with the exhibition and who participated in the launch, especially Ida Rooney “who worked tirelessly for the last few weeks to pull everything together.”

Sueann said “without funding from DCC and the RCSF it would not have been possible to stage the exhibition. This is the first venture of its kind where so many community groups worked in unison.” She was particularly happy to see the enthusiasm of younger people who contributed to and visited the exhibition saying, “People from four to ninety took part in the celebrations and there was no difference in their enthusiasm.”

By Jennifer Reddin