Carriganima pupils to fly Rising flag

Gnr Paul O'Rourke presents Dara Caulfield with a welcome pack for the Defence Forces 2016 Flags for Schools Initiative and Sgt Chris Hoare presents David Conrad with the Tricolour. Picture: John Delea

Children in a community with strong links to the Irish Volunteers in Easter 1916 were among the first in Cork to receive the national flag from Defence Forces personnel.

The 24 pupils of Carriganima National School accepted the Tricolour from Sergeant Chris Hoare and Gunner Paul O’Rourke in a ceremony that will be replicated at thousands of primary schools around the country as part of the official centenary commemorations of the 1916 Rising.

The Proclamation of the Republic, which was read outside Dublin’s GPO as the Rising began, was read out by third, fifth and sixth class pupils after a copy was presented to the school.

Although Cork’s Volunteers did not take part in the rebellion, more than 1,000 marched to various parts of the county on Easter Sunday 1916, in an exercise that was to have culminated in the collection and distribution of German guns. The boat carrying the arms was arrested off the Kerry coast and sunk as it was escorted to Cobh, but Cork Volunteers commander Tomás MacCurtain allowed the marches proceed, believing from Dublin’s orders that the Rising had been cancelled.

More than 130 men of six Volunteers companies gathered at Carriganima with eight rifles, 84 shotguns, 11 revolvers/pistols, 20 pikes, and 12 pounds of explosives. They included 28 members of the local company, formed a century ago this month after Pádraig Pearse spoke there a fortnight earlier.

However, like those gathered elsewhere in Cork on Easter Sunday 1916 — at Macroom, Bweeng, Millstreet, and other locations — the men gathered at Carriganima were ordered back to their company areas. Unknown then to MacCurtain, or to Thomas Kent’s Galtee batallion in north Cork, the Rising would begin in Dublin the next day.

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