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Kinsale to commemorate handing over of military forts on Easter Monday

April 17th, 2022 9:26 AM

Kinsale will mark the handing over of its military forts 100 years ago on Easter Monday. Photo: John Allan

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Kinsale will mark the centenary of the handing over of the town’s military forts at a ceremony near Charles Fort at noon on Easter Monday.

The event has been organised by the county mayor, Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF), in conjunction with a recently constituted commemoration committee including local historians Fergal Browne, Shannon Forde, JJ Hurley, Diarmuid O’Donovan and Padraig Walsh.

The minister of state with responsibility for office of public works Patrick O’Donovan (FG) will also be in attendance.

The mayor paid credit to the local organising committee, saying ‘they have considerable interest in telling the story of the town’s history and want to bring that narrative to a broader audience.

According to the mayor, one of the best ways for younger generations to learn history is to come out and experience it, including the Easter Monday event.

While the original handing over took place on February 19th 1922, due to Covid restrictions it was decided to host the event tomorrow.

Cllr Coughlan will deliver the keynote address but there will also be music from Comhaltas Ballinspittle and a re-enactment of the handover to the Irish Free State from the departing British army, with participation from the Defence Forces.

Historian Shannon Forde will also outline the events that happened one hundred years ago.

Cllr Coughlan praised the commemoration committee at County Hall for their support particularly the Council’s heritage officer Conor Nelligan, whom she described as invaluable.

The mayor, who is a  graduate in history from Trinity College, Dublin, said the event promises to be ‘a meaningful ceremony, marking a seminal moment in the locality and nationally.

‘While we see these as a tourist attraction today, and are delighted that the OPW preserves them,’ she said, ‘it is important to remember they were defensive positions, so it is essential we mark when they were handed over to the Irish Free State.'

 

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