1916 Commemorative Mass
On Tuesday, 5th of May an ecumenical service was held to remember the forty children, aged under 16 who died during the 1916 Rising. The service was held in St. Patrickâ€™s Cathedral in Ringsend and commenced at 11. The service was organised by RTÃ‰â€™s Joe Duffy and was attended by President Michael D. Higgins, his wife Sabina, relatives of the children who died as well as members of the public. Forty children from the local school were also in attendance and represented each of the forty children being remembered. The music throughout the service was provided by CÃ³r na nÃ“g and featured a specially written song â€œChildren of â€˜16â€, composed and performed by Declan Oâ€™Rourke. Forty shimmering candles, each emblazoned with the name of a child who died, formed the centrepiece of the ceremony.
Transition year students Niamh Rock and Eimear Hoban had the unique opportunity of also attending this service alongside Mr. Curry and Ms. Tracy. The opportunity came about as Ms. Tracy is a relative of Bridget McKane, a 15 year old girl who died in 1916. Bridget died when a volunteer shot the lock of her front door and the bullet went through her fatherâ€™s shoulder and into her head. Eimear and I had based our history projects around 1916 and we had an interest in the occurrences of 1916. As a result, it was decided that we could attend.
At the end of the mass Ms. Tracy had the honour of presenting a glass block engraved with the forty names of the children to President Michael D. Higgins. Eimear also had the honour of presenting flowers to his wife Sabina. Eimear and I had the pleasure of conversing briefly with the President, Joe Duffy and many politicians after the service in the community centre nearby. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and a once in a lifetime experience. (Niamh Rock)