HAVE YOU LONG heard family stories about what role your relatives played in the 1916 Rising?
Members of the public with direct links to the Rising are urged to come forward and get in touch with the 1916 Relatives Association, who say they want to make sure that as many relatives as possible are involved in the centenary plans.
The organisation, which has over 300 members from relatives of the signatories to rank and file soldiers, are holding a special meeting this Sunday 12 October at the Alexander Hotel on Fenian Street, Dublin 2.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Una Mac Nulty said:
As the 1916 commemorations are almost upon us we are extremely keen to make contact with members of the public who have direct and immediate links to uprising. Our numbers are swelling and we have been inundated with requests from members of the public to join and be part of a national commemoration dedicated to loved ones who gave their lives for Ireland.
She added that people from all over the world have been in contact, from Britain, the US and South Africa.
“We are lobbying the Government at the moment to ensure that relatives are informed as much as possible about the plans. We are very anxious to have our ancestors remembered in an appropriate and dignified manner,” she said, adding that they had a meeting with the former Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan just before the reshuffle.
“He was very open to us and very supportive of the need for relatives to be involved and informed of the plans. We were meant to have another meeting in mid September where we were to be presented with a preliminary outline of the plans in the works for the centenary, but that has not happened yet, so we are anxious to meet with the new Arts Minister Heather Humphreys on the matter,” said McNulty.
Speaking about her own connection to the 1916 Rising, she said her grandfather, grand uncle and grand aunt were all involved, with the two men in the family being some of the last men to surrender their posts.
“It is unfortunate that there is not so much information about the women that were involved. The only information we had about my grand aunt were family anecdotes about her being a runner, which many of the women were, although some were combatants too,” she said.
“The meeting we are holding is a great way to get everyone together and discuss the plans. It is also a great learning experience as many relatives want to find out more and we can help point them in the right direction about where to get further information,” she said.
Families can contact 1916 Relatives Association by email or visit their Facebook page. You can email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The meeting will take place this Sunday 12 October 2014, at the Alexander Hotel on Fenian Street, Dublin 2 from 2pm-5pm.