A ceremony of comemmoration, took place on Sunday 8th May in Silvermines organised by the local historical society. As the congregation emerged from 11 o’cock mass in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Silvermines, they were greeted with the strains of a lone piper and as he played, three ladies in 1916 styles mingled with the crowd and handed out souvenir scrolls of the 1916 Proclamation to everyone.
With his charming tunes, well known piper Joe Barry led the mass goers and all present to the vicinity of the national school where the event got under way. Silvermines Historical Society Chairman, John Kennedy spoke briefly of the 1916 Rising and greeted the audience “welcome to all here for this occasion where we remember those who made such a sacrifice for us in 1916, just one hundred years ago”.
Liam Gleeson of Sivermines Folk Choir commenced proceedings with Amhrán na bhFiann, followed immediately by the raising of the national flag by Fr Brendan Moloney P.P., assisted by John O’Brien, Silvermines. The flag was recently gifted to the Silvermines Historical Society from the Silvermines GAA Club.
The 1916 Proclamation ‘as Gaeilge’ was read by SHS member Cait Logue (Slattery of Bawn). Then came a rendition of ‘ A Nation once Again’ after which Tom Collins of Cooleen was tasked with reading the proclamation ‘as bēarla’, a task he had also undertaken as a schoolboy in Silvermines in 1966.
Readings by seven SHS members, Aidan Boland, Liam Gleeson, Una Egan, Michael O’Brien, Siobhan Hayden, Joan Kennedy and Sarah Collins gave a ‘short story’ account of the seven brave men, whose names are immortalised on the 1916 Proclamation. Proceedings were then rounded off aptly and poignantly with a poetry presentation by three readers ( per following excerpts).
Patricia Mulqueen read Joseph M Plunkett.
I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
Mary Fogarty, Lissenhall read Thomas Mc Donagh.
I dreamt last night of you, John-John,
And thought you called to me;
And when I woke this mornng, John,
Yourself I hoped to see;
Eamonn de Stafort, Silvermnes read Pádraig Pearse.
I do not grudge them : Lord, I do not grudge
My two strong sons that I have seen go out
To break their strength and die, they and a few,
In bloody protest for a glorious thing,
Beside the inscribed memorial stone , a strong young oak tree was planted by SHS Secretary, Betty Gleeson and the Last Post, played by local musician Caitriona Gleeson, (of the Nenagh Brass Band), sounded off the memorable event.
The catering of tea and home baking for everyone was expertly co-ordinated by Maureen Steed and served in the school afterwards. It was a convivial gathering where locals and visitors could meet and greet in the aftermath of the gathering on such a lovely sunny day.
A very special thanks to Billy Grace and the Silvermines School Board of Management for the use of the school premises and a further thanks to all who lent a willing hand to make this day of tribute a successful and memorable event.