Reaching out and reaching back were twin themes on the Co Clare ICA agenda last month.
On the last Sunday in April, a granite commemorative plaque honouring the deeds and sacrifices of those who died in 1916 – and commissioned by Corofin Guild – was unveiled in the local church grounds.
The gesture marked what happened 100 years earlier to the day, when a group of Volunteers of the Corofin and District Mid-Western Brigade assembled at Lake Inchiquin and Whitemount and prepared to follow their leaders in the fight for Irish freedom.
According to Paul Minihan of Corofin, they were mainly young men.
Their commander, Bertie Hunt, was just 24 and had a vision that Ireland would become a Republic, with liberty and equality for men and women at its core.
Last month, a small group of Royal Defence Force members raised the tricolour to half mast, Dr Michael Harty unveiled the plaque with Volunteers’ names, while two of their descendants – Ben Killeen and David Daly – read the Proclamation.
Nora Fitzgerald, Corofin ICA president, represented Cumann na mBan and Dr McNamara – whose granduncle was a medical officer in Dublin during the Rising – laid a wreath.
The two national school choirs sang Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile, while Paddy Coonahan, representing the many newcomers who have made Corofin their home, sang The Foggy Dew.
The RDF then raised the flag fully and the crowd sang Amhrán na BhFiann.
The commemoration was jointly organised by Corofin ICA and the newly-formed Cumann Staire Cora Finne. Corofin ICA Guild supplied the tea and refreshments in St Patrick’s Hall.
Meanwhile, Clare Federation president Joanne Allen presented a cheque for €2,520 to Margaret Nash, director of Bushy Park Addiction Treatment Centre in Ennis.
The money represented proceeds of the fashion show held by Clare ICA in February.
Thanking ICA for choosing to support Bushy Park, Ms Nash said addiction is as much an illness as any other, though it’s often not recognised as such.
She said she was happy Bushy Park had formed links with a community group like ICA because addiction isolates people and the creativity within guilds could be helpful to people who might be lonely.
Such creativity, she said, nourishes the spirit and promotes social interaction.
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