Family of Thomas Kent speak of ‘immense pride’

Thousands line up at Collins Barracks in Cork to pay their respects to 1916 rebel

 

Thousands of people lined up outside Collins Barracks in Cork last night to pay their respects to 1916 rebel Thomas Kent whose State funeral is set to take place today.

The remains of Thomas Kent arrived at the barracks shortly before 4pm yesterday.

Family members – including Kent’s nieces Kathleen and Eily Kent and Prudence Kent attended a rosary at the garrison church at 6pm. They had half an hour private time with the coffin prior to the prayers.

Members of the public were given the opportunity to file past the coffin shortly afterwards.

Dignitaries from the city and county councils were in attendance.

City Mayor Cllr Chris O’Leary invited his counterpart in Derry and Strabane, Cllr Elisha McCallion, to Cork for the “historic occasion”.

Other notable attendees last night included the Bishop of Cork and Ross Dr John Buckley, Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kelleher and county mayor Cllr John Paul O’Shea.

Meanwhile, Nora O’Riordain, a grandniece of Thomas Kent, told Cork’s 96FM that she was truly grateful for the honour being bestowed on her relative. Ms O’Riordain said it was a special moment for her mother, Prudence, her two aunts and the extended Kent family.

Proud

Brig Gen Philip Brennan, General Officer Commanding 1 Brigade at Collins Barracks, said that it was an honour for the Defence Forces to be involved.

“It is a great privilege for the Defence Forces. We share the same uniform and insignia of the volunteers who took part in the Rising.

“There is a direct heritage that can be traced from the volunteers to the modern Irish military.”

Kent was one of 16 men executed in 1916 following the Easter Rising and one of only two executed outside Dublin – the other was Roger Casement, who was hanged in London.

Thomas Kent of Castlelyons was tried by court martial on the charge of armed rebellion. He was shot in Victoria Barracks (now Cork Prison) on May 9th, 1916, and buried within the prison yard.

Mystery

He will be buried at the family plot in Castlelyons today. The State funeral will commence at St Nicholas Church at 1.45pm.

It is expected that the church will not be capable of accommodating more than 400 people.

Outdoor seating

His family, who still live in the Castlelyons area of north Cork, requested that Kent be buried beside his brothers William, Richard and David rather than in Glasnevin.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that the honour of a State funeral was the least owing to Thomas Kent.

Kent was part of a prominent nationalist family who lived at Bawnard House in Castlelyons. The main railway station in Cork, Kent Station, was named in his honour.

Today’s funeral Mass will be celebrated by the Bishop of Cloyne, Most Rev William Crean, together with the Castlelyons PP Fr Gerard Coleman, Fr Gerry O’Neill from Collins Barracks and Fr Michael Kidney from Cork Prison.