Fenian leader’s casket to go on public display

The casket which carried the body of Irish Fenian leader Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa home from the US has been restored and will go on public display this weekend.

Fenian leader’s casket to go on public display

The casket had been brought from New York for his burial at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin and was subsequently stored in the village of Reenascreena in his native West Cork.

Following its refurbishment for the current centenary commemorations, it will be put on public display adjacent to O’Driscoll’s Pub in Reenascreena on Friday from 7.30pm.

Members of the O’Driscoll family, relatives of O’Donovan Rossa’s mother Ellen O’Driscoll, will be in attendance.

At the same time, a monument to the patriot in the village, erected in 1969, will be rededicated with a wreath-laying ceremony.

Afterwards, a book launch will take place, with Dr Shane Kenna, a historian from Trinity College Dublin, speaking about his book, Jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa: Unrepentant Fenian.

It was the first biography of O’Donovan Rossa to be written in English.

Dr Kenna will also launch a second book, titled Conspirators: A Photographic History of Ireland’s Revolutionary Underground.

In a separate celebration, an event will be held to honour the memory of O’Donovan Rossa’s third wife, the poet Mary Jane Irwin.

She was married to him for over 50 years at the time of his death in June 1915. She died on August 16, 1916.

Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage group is to host a night of poetry and drama at An Súgán, next to Strand House where Ms Irwin was born and raised.

The event takes place at 9pm on Friday, July 10, and will consist of poetry and prose readings from the works of Ms Irwin and the reading of part of the script from the 1945 play Rossa, which will be staged at St Mary’s Theatre in Rossmore on July 25 and 26.

Music at next week’s event will be provided by the newly formed Clonakilty branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.

For more on upcoming commemoration events see reenascreena.com and facebook.com/ ODRCentenaryCommCttee

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