Re-enactments planned for 1916 celebrations

A lament to Thomas Kent, the displaying of an anchor from gun-running ship SS Aud, and re-enactments of marching Volunteers are among more than 300 events and projects being planned in Cork for next year’s 1916 centenary commemorations.

Re-enactments planned for 1916 celebrations

Cork County Council’s heritage department, meanwhile, have considered nearly 100 applications for funding to organise events to mark the anniversary.

Heritage officer Conor Nelligan said applications were being processed and while €60,000 was available at present for community projects, the figure was expected to rise, possibly being doubled in due course.

Successful applicants will most likely be determined by the end of next month.

Mr Nelligan said two major ceremonial events will form part of the programme which will be held on Easter Monday and on the May 9 anniversary of Thomas Kent’s execution.

“We will also have lots of re-enactments of Volunteers marching from town to town, conferences, school projects and performing arts. One production company is planning a big play,” he said. “One group of locals are also hoping to invite people over from Germany to commemorate the link with the Aud.”

The Aud was carrying an estimated 20,000 rifles, around a million rounds of ammunition, 10 machine guns, and explosives.

However, her captain Karl Spindler, trapped by British ships, decided to scuttle the vessel in Cork harbour on April 22, 1916. Spindler and crew were interned for the duration of the war.

“The anchors from the Aud are being preserved at the moment and one of them will go on display in Cobh,” Mr Nelligan said.

Although there was no fighting with Crown Forces in Cork during the Rising, more than 1,000 Volunteers mobilised on Easter Sunday to numerous areas, the biggest group of 400 travelling to Macroom. Others gathered at Bweeng, north Cork, and Carriganima, Barley Hill, and Mount Leader.

Their intended role was to collect and distribute guns to have been landed in Kerry on Easter weekend aboard the SS Aud. A commemoration of the Aud’s sinking in Fort Camden, Crosshaven is also planned.

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