BY HELEN RIDDELL
BERE Island Projects Group are one of 180 community groups who have recently received funding under the Heritage Council’s Community Heritage Grant Scheme.
The group was awarded €5,500 which they will use to produce a short film to mark the centenary of the Bere Island internment camp.
The film will outline the history of the island’s internment camp, the stories of some of the internees, and some audacious escapes.
In 1920 a prison camp was opened on Bere Island at the site of Fort Berehaven military camp for convicted republican prisoners.
By early 1921 all convicted prisoners were transferred to the prison at Spike Island, and Bere Island became an internment camp only. At one stage over 200 men were interned on Bere Island and included Sean Collins, brother of Michael Collins, and Professor Alfred O’Rahilly who later became president of UCC.
John Walsh of Bere Island Projects Group said the group was delighted with the funding to further their work in documenting the island’s military heritage.
‘We would like to extend our thanks to the Heritage Council for their continued support over the years in the work that we do on Bere Island, and this funding to produce a film on the internment camp will allow us to bring an important part of the island’s history to a wider audience,’ he said.
The film will be available online and the group hopes to be able to hold a screening on the island later this year if restrictions allow.
The group is also hoping to trace family members of those who were interned at the camp. They would particularly like to get in touch with anyone who has stories of the internees, or old photos. Anyone who has information can send it to Helen at [email protected], or call 027 75099.