The State’s official commemoration of the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa in Glasnevin Cemetery on Sunday 1st August was the first official State event in the Ireland 2016 programme marking the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising. The funeral is best known for the graveside oration delivered by Pádraig Pearse.
The commemoration, which mirrored the proceedings of actual 1915 funeral of O’Donovan Rossa consisted of a wreath laying ceremony, the firing of a volley of shots, a Piper’s Lament, the rendering of the Last Post and the playing of the National Anthem.
The event, which was hosted by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms Heather Humphreys TD, was attended by President Michael D. Higgins, An Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny TD, members of the Oireachtas and diplomatic corps, invited guests including members of the extended O’Donovan Rossa family. Lieutenant-General Conor O’Boyle, Chief of Staff, was in attendance. Prior to the event, 1,500 tickets were issued to the public.
The commemoration, supported by the Glasnevin Trust, was televised live by RTE. Brigadier-General Paul Pakenham represented the Military Heritage of Ireland Trust (CLG). The attendance also included Major-General David O’Morchoe, President of the Royal British Legion and a Trust Director.
President Higgins was escorted to Glasnevin by an Escort of Honour (29 personnel) from the 2 Cavalry Squadron under the command of Captain Mark Tormey. On arrival, President Higgins inspected a Captain’s Guard of Honour (107 personnel) drawn from the 6 Infantry Battalion, under the command of Captain Desmond O’Reilly. The Band of the 1st Brigade under the baton of Captain Brian Prendergast rendered musical honours.
The St James’s Band played appropriate music, reflecting the band’s involvement during the funeral in 1915. The solemn and inclusive commemoration was formally opened by the Chairman of the Glasnevin Trust Mr John Green, who detailed the events leading up to O’Donovan Rossa’s death and the impact it had on the Irish environment the time. Defence Forces Chaplain Fr Robert McCabe recited prayers and blessed the final resting place of O’Donovan Rossa.
President Higgins laid a wreath on behalf of the Irish people. Pádraig Pearse’s famous oration was re-enacted by Actor Jim Roche.
The Parade Commander was Lieutenant-Colonel David Goulding, 6 Infantry Battalion. The National Colour, with the Regimental Colours from the 1 Brigade, 2 Brigade, Defence Forces Training Centre, Naval Service and Air Corps, were on parade. An Honour Guard drawn from the 1 Artillery Regiment and under the command of Lieutenant Sarah Donnelly rendered military honours throughout. A Firing Party from the 27 Infantry Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Richie Barbour fired three volleys of shots. The Piper’s Lament “Wrap the Green Flag around me Boys” was played by Private Niall Kelly of the 6 Infantry Battalion.
View a gallery of Images from the Commemoration >>
An Post’s Commemorative Stamp
On 30th July 2015, An Post issued a stamp commemorating Pádraig Pearse’s speech at the graveside of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, which was delivered in Glasnevin Cemetery on 1st August, 1915.
The stamp was designed by Dublin design house Red&Grey Design and printed by Cartor Security Printing. It features a photograph of Pádraig Pearse delivering his famous and rousing speech at the foot of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s grave during his funeral in 1915.
The stamp size is 51mm x 34.5mm with single colour and phosphor tagging. The stamp is issued with a denomination of €0.70.