Bagpipes of murdered Tomás MacCurtain to be played at ceremony honouring his role in 1916 Rising

Bagpipes owned by murdered Lord Mayor of Cork Tomás MacCurtain will be played for the first time in almost a century today during a ceremony to honour his role in the 1916 Rising.

Bagpipes of murdered Tomás MacCurtain to be played at ceremony honouring his role in 1916 Rising

A pipe band parade will march from the former home of the commander of the Irish Volunteers’ Cork Brigade in Blackpool, Cork City, where he was shot by RIC officers on March 20, 1920, to the National Monument on Grand Parade to commemorate the mobilisation of some 1,000 Volunteers in Cork for Easter Week 1916.

Two US pipe bands — the New Mexico Police and Fire Pipe Band and the Amarillo Firefighters Pipe Band, whose founder Beau Hargrave’s great-great-grandfather Abraham Hargrave designed Cork’s Custom House — will join with the Newmarket Pipe Band for the parade. It will also acknowledge MacCurtain’s link with the Brian Boru Pipers, Cork’s first pipe band, and the Cork Volunteer Pipe Band, which he founded in 1914.

Lord Mayor Chris O’Leary and county mayor John Paul O’Shea will march alongside MacCurtain’s family from Blackpool at 2pm, down Shandon St, along the quays to St Patrick’s St, and on to the National Monument.

MacCurtain’s bagpipes — a set of two-drone war pipes — will be used to play a lament at the monument.

Organiser Tomás MacCormaic invited the public to attend, and said there are plans to establish a Tomás MacCurtain Pipe Band, which he hopes will play a key role in commemorating the centenary in 2020 of his death.

Meanwhile, the role of the Irish Volunteers’ Cork Brigade, under MacCurtain’s command, at Easter 1916 will be told in the 32-page ‘Rising in the Regions’ supplement free with the Irish Examiner on Monday. It tells the story of the attempted landing of German guns by the Aud in Kerry, and what happened during the Rising in Galway, Meath, and Wexford.

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