Talks on the Rising

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The Easter Rising of 1916 and the execution of some of its leaders is to be recalled at a series of events in Portadown.

Over the weekend of the 7th and 8th May, Drumcree Community Centre, at Ashgrove Road, is set to host a programme of events.

On display over the weekend will be a set of 13 commemorative panels relating to the cultural and national revival in the years leading up to 1916.

On Saturday 7th at 1.30pm, the Drumcree Centre will screen the first of three films, commencing with the iconic film ‘Mise Éire’. This was the first ever full-length feature film in Irish and the first ever feature film based on actual newsreel footage, with the now famous musical score by Seán Ó Riada.

Starting at 3.15pm ‘My Rebel Father’ is a thirty minute interview, filmed in 1965, with Nora Connolly O’Brien, the eldest daughter of James Connolly. In this archived film interview, Nora speaks of Connolly’s life as a father and as a trade union and political activist,

Later that afternoon, at 4pm there will be a screening of ‘Saoirse?’. Dealing with the period from 1919 to 1922, ‘Saoirse?’ chronicles the War of Independence, the Truce and Treaty, the establishment of the Free State and Stormont administrations and the outbreak of the Civil War.

On Sunday, 8th, at 2.30pm there will be a seminar to examine the role played by various individuals and organisations in the years leading up to and including the Easter Rising.

Dr Fergal McCluskey will speak about the Irish Republican Brotherhood which had existed for more than 50 years prior to the Rising.

Tommy McKearney, a former hunger-striker and now full time trade unionist will give a lecture on Labour, Class and Nationality in the run up to 1916.

Feargal MacIonnrachtaigh will give a talk on the Language and Cultural Revival prior to the 1916 rebellion. Feargal will examine how the cultural revival contributed to and strengthened the demand for national independence. Feargal wrote ‘Language, Resistance and Revival’