Retired Members Tour 2016
The ASA were delighted to welcome once over 60 of our Retired Members and their partners to our annual retired members tour on Thursday 30th June 2016. For the year that’s in it, the day was themed around the 1916 events. The group took had a guided tour of Arbour Hill Cemetery, the last resting place of 14 of the leaders of the 1916 rising. Among those buried there are Padraig Pearse, James Connolly and Tom Clarke. Our very knowledgeable guide Eamonn gave a wonderful overview of the rising and explored the wording of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
A short walk away we visited the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks where it marks the centenary of the 1916 rising with an exciting new exhibition, some exhibited objects have never been on public display before while others, such as the Irish Republic flag which flew over the GPO, have been specially conserved. On our way we also visited the Asgard yacht, historically famous for its involvement in collecting German arms and delivering them to Irish nationalist forces at Howth in 1914 and now completely restored to its former glory. Through the combined effect of the objects, words and imagery of the period, we were confronted with the physical reality of the events of Easter Week, following the stories of those caught up in the events of that momentous week – civilians, combatants and survivors alike and being made aware of the last words spoken/written to family members including their mothers just hours before their execution will see some tears being shed.
Following lunch we travelled to the newly refurbished Richmond Barracks for our final guided tour. Here, 3000 Irish rebels, including the leaders of the 1916 rising were taken following capture, where they were identified, interrogated, court marshalled and convicted before being taken to Kilmainham gaol to be executed. The tour concluded with an exclusive tour of Goldenbridge Cemetery, the first catholic cemetery in Ireland, founded by Daniel O’Connell in 1828 and burial place of W.T. Cosgrave, who served as the President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State.
A wonderful day was had by all. We look forward to 2017.