THE Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa Centenary Commemoration Committee in Skibbereen has several events planned in the town for July as part of its ongoing programme to mark the centenary of the passing of West Cork’s famous Fenian patriot.
In the Corner Bar, on Friday 17th, there will be an evening of story and song in remembrance of O’Donovan Rossa.
Two performances of the play ‘Rossa,’ written by Maria Young and inspired by the award-winning 1945 play of the same name by Roger McHugh will take place in Skibbereen Town Hall on Sunday and Monday, July 20th and 21st, nightly at 8pm. Tickets may be booked in advance through Thornhill Electrical on 028-22557.
On Tuesday, July 21st, a historical walking tour of sites associated with O’Donovan Rossa in the greater Skibbereen area takes place. Registration will be at 7pm at the Fairfield car park.
Friday 24th sees the launch, in the West Cork Arts Centre, by the artist Robert Ballagh of a new print of his, depicting the famous graveside oration by Pádraig Pearse.
That evening sees the ‘March Back in Time – Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa torchlit parade.’
The town will travel back in time to the nineteenth century, with shop staff attired in period costume, and premises suitably decorated.
Traffic in town will be restricted to bicycle, pony and trap. The major events will commence with band recitals at 7pm, followed at dusk by a major torchlit street parade to commemorate a famous meeting organised by O’Donovan Rossa in the town in 1863 in sympathy with Poland’s January uprising.
All involved will be attired in period costume with the themes of O’Donovan Rossa’s life to the fore and with members of the local Polish community in national dress, singing Polish patriotic ballads and flying banners and standards associated with Poland’s national cause of that era.
On Sunday, July 26th, there will be a Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireannn concert of patriotic ballads and poetry, while Tuesday 28th will see an Irish language evening of talk, song and poetry in honour of O’Donovan Rossa, hosted by Dáil na Mumhan de Conradh na Gaeilge, to be held in the West Cork Hotel. The opening of a schools’ exhibition in the Library in Skibbereen takes place on Wednesday, July 29th.
The committee has also commissioned a special, limited edition O’Donovan Rossa Commemorative Medallion to mark the centenary, priced €10.