1916 Commemorative Journal

Posted By: April 18, 2016

The only one of its kind published, anywhere

 CAPITOPL HILL. Tuesday, April 19, 2016—— No Journal like it has been published in Ireland, the United States, or, indeed anywhere else on the planet. It is truly unique, destined to be a collector’s item and a treasured family heirloom.

The Journal in question is published by the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus, an organization that has a long history of pulling off “ firsts”— the first and only group in history to open and maintain since 1978 an office on Capitol Hill to lobby for Irish justice and peace; the first to make an issue of fair employment by American companies doing business in Northern Ireland, culminating in the Caucus’ launching of the Mac Bride Principles; and many, many more initiatives never attempted before.

And now the latest Caucus initiative: a beautiful, colored, 110-page (8.50 x 11) 1916 Commemorative Journal in which individuals, groups and Labor Unions are able to record their own thoughts and praise for the heroic men and women of 1916— published for the actual date of the Rising, April 24, 2016.

Fr. Sean Mc Manus— President of the Irish National Caucus— said: “We wanted to give our members and other dedicated Americans an opportunity to express what they feel about this iconic event, and to have something to pass down through the generations in their families. We also— very strongly and fervently — wanted to publicly disassociate the Irish National Caucus from the deplorable attempts by some in Ireland to denigrate Padraig Pearse and his heroic colleagues— and to do our part to reject the slave mentality of the “revisionist” historians who have been relentlessly spreading their own myths in the name of “proper” history. Nothing is more offensive to me to have to witness the self-loathing, the colonial-cringing of some Irish journalist and authors. And, yet, they get away with it; they are even praised and lauded for treating with contempt the most impressive group of men and women in all of Irish history. Our Journal, I am proud to say, is a panegyric — a love song — to the men and women of the 1916 Easter Rising. As the wonderful song “The foggy Dew” says:

‘But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully and clear

For those who died that Eastertide in the springing of the year

And the world did gaze, in deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few

Who bore the fight that freedom’s light might shine through the foggy dew…

For slavery fled, O glorious dead, when you fell in the foggy dew.”

Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President, Irish National Caucus said:

“What an honor and privilege to have been centrally engaged in the creation and publishing of this splendid Journal. It has been a truly rewarding, and richly educational experience. I am so proud of our Journal.”

 Notable Placements in Journal

 William J. Flynn, Chairman Emeritus, Mutual of America, New York, NY: “Dear Fr. Mc Manus, Thank you so very much for your wonderful initiative in launching the 1916 Commemorative Journal. Few people are more qualified to do this in light of your life-long devotion to Irish justice. ” (Page 40).

 Sean Sherwin : Re-burial of Thomas Kent : Seán Sherwin, former Irish Parliamentarian, provides this account of the background to the execution of Thomas Kent (1865-1916) and his final interment in 2015.(Page 39).

 One of the enjoyable results of creating the 1916 Commemorative Journal was how it has shown in clear relief the closeness, on one level, of the Irish National Caucus to the 1916 Rising.

This point emerges clearly with the Journal photos of, and items on, Fr. Sean Mc Manus and the sons and daughters of the Rising: “Fr. Mc Manus and Nora Connolly O’Brien, daughter of James Connolly; Fr. Mc Manus and Sean Mac Bride, son of Major John Mac Bride; Fr. Mc Manus and Mary Shore, daughter of Joe Mc Garrity; and Fr. Mc Manus and Mary Holt Moore, niece of Sam O’Reilly, the last man out of GPO.” (Pages 35-37).

New Faces Emerge

The Journal also brought to the forefront statements/placements by individuals who were not too much in the public domain:
 Cousin of Terence Mac Swiney: “I have two heroes: my father, Patrick, and his cousin Terence Mac Swiney, Lord Mayor of Cork [ who died on hunger strike in 1910],” —  Cork-born William Mc Sweeney, Saratoga,  CA.( Page 92).

 Daughter of Sheila Nagle O’ Connell: Sheila O’Connell O’Grady, Michigan, states: “These are my [late] mother’s own words: ‘‘I joined the Tralee Cumann Na mBan, the Women’s Division of the Irish Republican Army, at the age of 14, in 1918.

My name, at the time, was Julia Nagle, but I went by Sheila. I was active in 1921 and 1922 carrying dispatches, guns, food, and clothing to the ‘Boys on the Run’. I was arrested in October 1922 while putting up posters on the buildings of Tralee.” (Page 52).

Daughter of Morgan Davoren: “In honor of my father, Morgan Davoren, an IRA leader in the East Connemara Brigade. He came to America in 1923 with his mother, Maria. His name is in the book by Fr. Padraig O’Laoi, on Fr. Griffin, [who was assassinated by the Black and Tans or Auxiliaries in 1920 and buried in a bog near Barna].

 My father will be in peace in heaven when Ireland is one and free from England. He put the love of Ireland and the Shamrock in my heart. He was a great Catholic. I am so pleased that Fr. Mc Manus is keeping my father’s dream alive.”—Marie O’Brien. Pittsburgh, PA. (Page 53).

 Fenians Given their Due

The 1916 Easter Rising cannot be understood apart form the Fenians/IRB. Therefore, there is a major article on the great John Devoy ( Pages 29-30).  Also an article on O’Donovan Rossa ( Page 31).

  Bob Bateman, long time friend and colleague of Fr. Mc Manus, has a major Placement on his great-grand Uncle, Captain Timothy Deasy (1841-1880), whom the Manchester Martyrs rescued from the prison van in Manchester, England, in 1867. (Pages 32-33).
Francis Christ, Lynbrook, NY, tells the Journal readers about her great-grandfather: “John Kenny: The Forgotten Fenian.” ( Page 34)
Derek Warfield: Since music and song have played an integral part in the Irish struggle, Derek Warfield, Young Wolfe Tones, appropriately has a two-page Placement on “The Importance of Music & Song in Every Chapter of Ireland’s Historical Literature.” (Pages 71-72).
Bobby Ballagh’s 1916 Commemorative Medals: Two-page ad for these unique medals honoring the Seven Signatories of the Proclamation. (Pages 67-68).
A Terrible Beauty: One page ad for the 1916 film- www.1916film.com ( Page 69).

 American Labor and Irish National Caucus: The Irish National Caucus since its inception, February 6, 1974, has had a close on-going relationship with the American Labor Movement. Labor features prominently in the Journal.

The President of the AFL-CIO, Richard L. Trumka— to whom the Irish National Caucus recently awarded the World Peace Prize— has a full page-Placement declaring: “On this 100TH Anniversary of the Easter Rising, the AFL-CIO salutes all the Movements for Freedom and Justice.” (Page 41).

Terry O’Sullivan —General President, Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA)— in a full-page Placement states: “In this historic centennial year, the members of LIUNA, particularly those of Irish descent, stand shoulder- to-shoulder with the people of Ireland in their ongoing struggle for an independent Ireland united under one flag.” (Page 42).

Bricklayers Union: Irish-born President, Jim Boland, in a one-page Placement states: “The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers is pleased to join the Irish National Caucus in commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.” (Page 47).