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  • Northside East

The centenary of Thomas Ashe’s death being marked 

Sunday, 1st October, 2017 6:00pm
The centenary of Thomas Ashe’s death being marked 

Thomas Ashe lying in State.

The centenary of Thomas Ashe’s death being marked 

Thomas Ashe lying in State.

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A SERIES of events have been taking place across Fingal over the past fortnight to mark the centenary of the death of Thomas Ashe. 

Ashe was the commander of the Fifth Battalion Fingal Brigade of the Irish Volunteers and led them to the only rebel victory during the 1916 Rising at the Battle of Ashbourne. 

Having been initially sentenced to death before having that sentence commuted to life imprisonment, he was released in June 1917 under an amnesty for Republic prisoners.  He died three months later on September 25 while on hunger strike in Mountjoy Prison after being re-arrested for sedition.

His body lay in State in Dublin City Hall, surrounded by a guard of honour from the Fingal Brigade, and thousands came to pay their respects.  

Thousands also lined the streets on the day of his funeral and followed his coffin as it was escorted by uniformed Irish Volunteers to Glasnevin Cemetery where Michael Collins gave the graveside oration.

A Kerryman, Ashe came to Fingal in 1908 as Principal of Corduff National School near Lusk.  An avid supporter of the Irish language and Irish culture, he was a member of the Gaelic League and co-founded the Black Raven Pipe Band and the Round Towers GAA Club in Lusk.

Mayor of Fingal Mary McCamley said: “During the 2016 Commemoration the council did a lot of work to promote the story of Fingal and the 1916 Rising. 

“People are now more aware of what happened and the role carried out by people like Thomas Ashe. 

“This has led to a strong interest in marking the centenary of his death and Fingal County Council is assisting this in a number of ways.”

One of the major projects undertaken by Fingal County Council during 2016 was its sponsorship of TileMedia’s drama documentary, ‘Fingal’s Finest’, about the activities of Ashe and the Fingal Volunteers. 

As part of the Ashe centenary celebrations there will be a special screening of the film on Sunday, October 1, during Fingal’s Festival of History in Newbridge House, Donabate.

The Festival of History, which will run from Friday, September 29 until October 1, is a three-day festival  looking at different events that were happening in the world 100 years ago, and also examining the history of Newbridge House. 

In addition to the screening, there will be a talk on Thomas Ashe by Brian Arnold on the Friday evening.

On Saturday, September 30, Thomas Ashe 100th Year anniversary celebrations will be taking place in Lusk organised by the Thomas Ashe Community Group. The day will include:

• 11am - Procession from Corduff National School to Round Towers GAA grounds led by Black Raven Pipe Band & 5th Battalion Group,

• 12noon - Sports events including juvenile matches and a special match between Round Towers’ first team and a Kerry team,

• 3.30pm - Unveiling of Thomas Ashe Sculpture at corner of Hand’s Lane & Minsters Road,

• 4.30pm - Screening of ‘Fingal’s Finest’ along with Irish Dancing and Drama Group,

• 5.30pm - Historical talk by Maurice O’Keeffe, and

• 7pm - Traditional Music Event 

Thomas Ashe died in 1917. Thomas Ashe

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