It’s a photograph that may have been seen by millions over the last 100 years – but how many people other than Pádraig Pearse did they all recognise?
If you can identify someone in this photograph, let us know by email@example.com, mentioning O’Donovan Rossa Funeral in the subject line, or contact Glasnevin Cemetery historian Conor Dodd: firstname.lastname@example.org
These are the names confirmed, of people in the crowd at O’Donovan Rossa’s graveside at Glasnevin on August 1, 1915.
7. James O’Hanlon
10. Thomas MacDonagh
11. Fr. Michael O’Flanagan
13. Patrick Pearse
14. John MacBride
15. Seán McGarry
16. Joseph Murray
17. Darrell Figgis
18. Francis Fahy
19. Tom Clarke
27. Cathal Brugha
29. John Fox
34. Fr. Albert Bibby
36. Emily M. Weddall
43. John Lawlor
44. James Stritch
49. Joseph Kelly
50. John Lawlor
58. Seán T. O’Kelly
60. Count Plunkett
64. Arthur Griffith
65. Piaras Béaslaí
66. Fr. Aloysius Travers
67. Liam Gogan
68. Percy Beechfield Carver
69. Honora Traynor
70. Annie Coyne
The following members of the St James’s Band are also present but not numbered:
Joseph Connolly, John Ryan, William Reddy, Thomas Murray, George Geoghegan, Matthew O’Leary, Michael Farrell, William Farrll, Richard Moore, Patrick Hughes,
Patrick Murphy, Richard Geoghegan, Joseph Holmes, Patrick Geoghegan, John Maher, Patrick Byrne, Christopher Treacy, Patrick Buckley, J McGillicuddy, Joseph Heapes, Joseph Byrne, John McKeon, J Pembroke, Charles Jordan, William Corr, John O’Reilly, John Sherwin, H Rawlins, Patrick Kelly, Thomas Carroll, F Greaves, Joseph Meade, William Fitzpatrick, Leo Connolly, P Hogarty, J Doherty, P Mallon, William Marshall, Charles McCabe, Joseph Johnston, Thomas Cahill, Henry Carroll, Thomas O’Connor, Patrick Maher, James Murray, L Reddy, T White, J Clarke, T McMahon, P Coleman, T Barry, T Fennell, P O’Reilly, James Conroy, William Judge, Richard Reddy, Robert Carr, W Drennon.
O’ Donovan Rossa: Funeral cortege of thousands sent clear message to London government
By Niall Murray
The significance of public interest in Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral on Sunday, August 1, 1915, is hard to put into context today.
A cortège of 20,000 people followed his coffin in its horse-drawn hearse through the streets of Dublin, and hundreds of thousands more lined the streets along the route from City Hall to Glasnevin Cemetery.
The tone and content of Padraig Pearse’s now-infamous oration at the dead Fenian’s graveside is enshrined in the history of preparations for the 1916 Rising. “The fools. The fools. The fools,” he said. “They have left us our Fenian dead. And while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”
But it was equally the open defiance of the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army, who marched through the capital’s streets in their thousands in that cortege, that emboldened the Irish Republican Brotherhood’s military council to forge ahead with those rebellion plans.
Most of the key planners and participants were centrally involved in organising the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa, who died at the end of June 1915 in exile in New York. Names like Pearse, James Connolly, Tom Clarke, Eamonn Ceannt, Joseph Plunkett, Seán McDermott, Con Colbert, Ned Daly, and others appear alongside future major figures in the Irish political and military revolution like Eamon de Valera, Cathal Brugha, Diarmuid Lynch, Arthur Griffith and Countess Markievicz on the funeral committee listed in the souvenir brochure produced for the occasion.
Special trains were laid on from around the country. The same holiday weekend saw Kerry’s junior and senior football sides pull out of their scheduled Munster championship semi-final ties with Cork and Tipperary at Cork Athletic Grounds. The reason given was the clash of the fixtures with O’Donovan Rossa’s burial, and the Saturday edition of the Cork Examiner recorded efforts being made to charter a special train from Tralee to connect with the Cork service at Mallow for those wishing to attend.
The Cork service organised by the O’Donovan Rossa Funeral Committee left at 8am on Sunday, preceded by a Mass in the nearby St Patrick’s Church. When the special train arrived into Dublin’s Kingsbridge (now Heuston) station, young Irish Volunteer Liam de Róiste who had travelled up the night before was handed his Mauser rifle by one of his fellow Cork Volunteers.
The ranks of Volunteers arriving by train from Kilkenny, Waterford, Limerick and Cork marched to James’s St, and awaited orders to advance in the cortege that left at 2pm from City Hall, where O’Donovan Rossa had been lying in state, his face uncovered under a glass shade.
The assembled Volunteers later got the order to march from James’s St “to the sound of muffled drums and the sad music of the Dead March, with slow steps and arms reversed.”
While the rifles and other weapons may not have had any ammunition in the breach, historian Gabriel Doherty says the 5,000 men who marched with them sent a clear message to the authorities and the government in London.
“The fact that thousands of National Volunteers, Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army members paraded through Dublin in open contempt of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, and in support of the most hardline Fenian of them all was something very striking,” he says.
The DMP’s hands-off approach, Mr Doherty says, was probably because it was just days since the first anniversary of the Bachelor’s Walk massacre. Four civilians died when soldiers intervened after the retrieval of the guns brought into Howth by the Irish Volunteers, and the government did not want to risk a repeat event.
But that inaction fuelled the IRB Military Council to advance their still-secret Rising plans.
Ever since O’Donovan Rossa’s death in New York on June 29, newspapers were filled with reports of votes of sympathy by poor law unions, boards of guardians, rural and urban, county and borough councils, and wreaths were piled high afterwards around the Glasnevin graveside.
The government might almost have taken some consolation if those sentiments turned sour, into public disturbances or violence that might sully the separatist’s growing public popularity. But, Mr Doherty says, perfect discipline was displayed on the day: “There was frightening precision in its execution, which gives an idea of how successful the Rising might have been.”
But circumstances meant things were much different, as the German guns being imported for the rebellion failed to land in Co Kerry on Easter weekend of 1916, prompting Irish Volunteers chief Eoin McNeill to cancel the national mobilisation that was supposed to kick-start the Rising that he had only just found out about himself.
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Irish and US descendants to attend ceremony
By Niall Murray
Among those attending this morning’s commemorative ceremony in Glasnevin are Irish and US descendants of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.
They are among the 500 dignitaries and invited guests at the first State ceremony in the 1916 Centenary programme. Another 1,500 spaces have been set aside for members of the public who successfully applied for tickets, which were in equal demand but scarce supply a century ago.
As well as President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Arts and Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys and diplomatic representatives from the UK, Poland, and the Vatican will attend.
“One thing we have found here over the last five years is the common and shared commemoration of everything, from World War I events to O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral,” said Glasnevin Trust chief executive George McCullough.
The proceedings are televised live on RTÉ One from 10.35am but around 5,000 people can be accommodated to see them relayed to live screens outside the cemetery. No tickets are required but parking restrictions are in place.
Before the speech of Pádraig Pearse is delivered, President Higgins will lay a wreath on O’Donovan Rossa’s grave, followed by a minute’s silence and a piper’s lament.
The event follows the timeline of proceedings as they happened at the funeral itself on Sunday, August 1, 1915, the souvenir brochure for which has been reproduced for the occasion.
The historic funeral cortege through Dublin City centre to Glasnevin Cemetery will be recreated later today in a separate event organised by Sinn Féin.
After a recreation of the dead patriot lying in state at Dublin City Hall, a horse-drawn hearse will leave at 2pm and make its way along Westmoreland St, O’Connell St, Parnell Square and on to the cemetery by 3pm.
The public is being encouraged to line the route in period dress to replicate the scene of 100 years ago.
Two bronze plaques are being unveiled at O’Donovan Rossa Bridge in Dublin by the National Graves Association at 3pm. The organisation will hold a wreath-laying ceremony and re-enactment of Pearse’s oration at the cemetery at 4.30pm, and a new print of the funeral scene will be launched by artist Robert Ballagh at Glasnevin museum an hour later.
The museum opens an exhibition on the O’Donovan Rossa funeral tomorrow, and it will run until next March. It includes items unique to the cemetery, and a large version of the coloured photograph of the historic graveside scene published on page 1 of today’s Irish Examiner.
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