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Council well armed for Memorabilia Day

THE Grand Hotel in Malahide played host to Fingal County Council’s recent Memorabilia Day.

To help set the scene there were Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) officers and Irish volunteers, in full uniform, brandishing bayonets and guns – all re-enactors, bringing to life the 1916 Rising, and in particular the role the men and women of Fingal played in this tumultuous event in Irish history.

The Memorabilia Day, part of the council’s 2016 Centenary Programme, provided an opportunity for members of the public to bring along items such as letters, medals and photos that tell the story of their family connections to the 1916 Rising and beyond up until 1923.

Experts were on hand to digitally photograph the items, as were historians, genealogists, and professional valuers.

The experts helped the owners to fill in gaps in information as to the value and provenance of the items.

Most of the items were not valuable in monetary terms but of enormous sentimental value to the owners.

With the owners’ permission, the council plans to create a digital online repository using the material scanned on the day.

This will help to build a visual history and greater understanding of the role the ordinary men and women of Fingal played in the struggle for Irish freedom.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr David O’Connor, officially opened the event.

“The part that Fingal played in this struggle is a unique story involving ordinary men and women, with surnames that are still well known in the county such as Ashe, Mulcahy, Coleman, Kettle, Wilson, Weston, Kelly, McAllister, Adrien, Fleming and Lawless,” said Mayor O’Connor.

Speaking about the council’s 2016 Centenary Programme, chief executive of Fingal County Council Paul Reid said: “It is a diverse and rich programme, underpinned by collaboration with councillors, relatives of those involved in 1916, members of the Old IRA Commemorative Society, historical societies, community groups and artists.”

The council’s second Memorabilia Day will be held on Saturday, November 7, from 12noon to 4pm at the Atrium in its offices in Blanchardstown.

The council will welcome those, not only with memorabilia but also people who have stories relating to the 1916–1923 period.

A docudrama, entitled ‘A Terrible Beauty’, will be screened at 12.30pm and 2pm on the day.

For further information visit http://www.fingal.ie/events/ or email 1916centenary@fingal.ie or phone 01-8905080.

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