Memorial commemorates Cork’s 1916 Irish Volunteers

A striking new monument which commemorates members of the Cork City Battalion of Irish Volunteers who were on active service under arms, and poised to fight in the 1916 Easter Rising, will be unveiled in the city today.

Memorial commemorates Cork’s 1916 Irish Volunteers

The monument, at the South Mall’s junction with Parnell Bridge was commissioned and donated to the city by the family of Seán Murphy, battalion vice commandant and brigade quarter master, who is believed to have been the sole surviving brigade officer following independence.

Cork sculptor Mick Wilkins completed the work to coincide with the year-long centenary celebrations of the Rising, before Mr Murphy’s family gifted it to Cork City Council.

Lord Mayor Chris O’Leary will unveil it at 1.30pm today.

“This monument is a fitting and lasting tribute to all those men who fought for our independence.

“In this centenary year of the Rising, it stands to remind us all of our history and ensure that these men are not forgotten by their city,” he said.

The monument comprises two white forms, representing the two channels of the River Lee which rise to create the form of a budding lily — the recognised symbol of the Rising.

However, the forms are deliberately abstract to allow people interpret them as either flames, representing the upheaval of the time which included the burning of Cork City, or two hands coming together in prayer.

Its base contains a plaque replicating a service certificate issued in 1948 to each member of the Cork City Battalion.

The plaque lists the names of those in A, B, C, and D Companies and members of Fianna Éireann.

More than 140 members of the Cork City Battalion travelled to Macroom on Easter Sunday 1916 but returned home that night, understanding the Rising had been cancelled.

After orders delaying the beginning of the Rising until Easter Monday were late reaching Cork, the local Volunteers were restrained from fighting, and dozens were arrested and interned.

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