O’Donovan Rossa funeral re-enactment to mark centenary of death

Funeral can be seen as marking start of countdown to 1916 Rising, says academic

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa pictured in New York in January 1911, during the long illness that eventually led to his death on June 29th, 1915.  Photograph: Getty Images.

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa pictured in New York in January 1911, during the long illness that eventually led to his death on June 29th, 1915. Photograph: Getty Images.

 

A re-enactment of the funeral of Fenian Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa is among an ambitious programme of events to be unveiled this week to mark the centenary of his death in 1915.

According to Gabriel Doherty of the School of History at UCC, O’Donovan Rossa was arguably the most famous of all Fenian leaders and his burial in Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery on August 1st, 1915, was one of the largest political funerals in Irish history.

“It was the occasion for Pádraig Pearse’s famous graveside oration that culminated in the words: ‘The fools, the fools, the fools! They have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace!’

“Given the involvement of the entire leadership cadre of the 1916 Rising, and the prominent role played by the Irish Volunteers on the day, the funeral can be seen as marking the beginning of the countdown to the 1916 Rising itself,” he said.

A programme of events will be unveiled at the West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen at 7.30pm on Wednesday. Events will include a visit by President Michael D Higgins to O’Donovan Rossa’s birthplace at Rosscarbery in west Cork on June 11th.