Easter Rising Commermoration

On Wednesday 16th of March, Mount Mercy College commemorated the 1916 Easter Rising. It was a day intended to commemorate the events of the Rising in Dublin and Cork and we also wanted to make sure that Ireland of 1916 came alive for the students. Four classrooms were taken over and the students of Mount Mercy were transported back to Sackville Street 1916.
On the day the students were welcomed by TY students in period costume and were shown a short clip from a documentary on the Rising. Students were then given a short lecture by Aislinn Keane McCarthy about a glass window in the Honan Chapel in UCC which was part of the GPO during Easter week. There were also projects on topics ranging from music and cinema in 1916 to the contribution of Tadgh Barry and the Volunteers in Cork. Artefacts including medals from the War of Independence and the First World War, a British Army bayonet, a gun from the War of Independence and a cheque signed by Patrick Pearse were all kindly donated to our museum by staff and students. There were also wonderful pieces of art from the art department which included portraits of Countess Markievicz, the seven signatories, the burning of the GPO and scrolls giving a day by day account of the Rising.
Students then moved into the social history side of our Mount Mercy Museum as the interactive part of our day kicked off. A streetscape from the turn of the century was recreated as we had a visit from our local butcher, who showed his traditional wares, a pig’s head, trotters and some tripe. Traditional sweets,scones and fruitcakes were available for the students. Many different household items were displayed as students had to guess their uses, an alter which would have been found in many homes was on display as were older style hurleys.
A hairdressers was available, many girls took the opportunity to relive the hairstyles of the time. Traditional musical entertainment was available, the teachers put on a virtuoso display of dancing as the day progressed.
At the end of the school day all the students congregated at the front of the building to hear a specially composed song by the Second Year Music students. A new proclamation written by Mount Mercy students was read by Niamh Browne. The 1916 Proclamation was read by Morgan O’ Brien, Bean Ui Riordain read ‘The Mother’ by Patrick Pearse, a poem she had previously read on the Fiftieth anniversary of 1916 and the tricolour was raised followed by the singing of the national anthem.
The day was a great success and it created a wonderful sense of commemoration within the school. The importance of remembering our history was emphasised and the commemoration day embellished the students understanding of 1916 but just as importantly it created a connection between the generation of 1916 and the students of today.