Fearless But Few: Fermanagh and the Easter Rising

Fearless But Few: Fermanagh and the Easter Rising

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Who Fears to Speak of Easter Week?

Fermanagh men made real history - Morrison

On 6th December 2015 'Fearless But Few: Fermanagh and the Easter Rising' was launched at the Westville Hotel in Enniskillen with great success.

A great crowd in attendance for the launch of 'Fearless but Few: Fermanagh and the Easter Rising'

In attendance at the event were relatives of many of the Volunteers who had taken part in the rising as well as the wider public.  The event was chaired by local solicitor, Frank McManus, who, 50 years ago, had read The Proclamation on the anniversary of the Rising at the graveside of Phil Cassidy, one of the Fermanagh Volunteers who fought at the GPO and who’s story is told in this book.

Frank McManus chairs the event speaking about the importance of this book.

The Fermanagh 1916 Centenary Association Chairman, Oliver McCaffrey, spoke about how the project to document these people's lives came about and said ‘This book is the beginning of a conversation about Fermanagh people who were part of the Rising. The Volunteers documented here are not the only people from the county who were involved; they are those for whom we have been able to find documentary proof.’

Fermanagh 1916 Centenary Association Chairman, Oliver McCaffrey, talks about how it is important to remember the Fermanagh Volunteers a hundred year on.

Activist and author, Danny Morrison, spoke powerfully linking the events of 1916 to the present day in his speech on the theme ‘Who Fears to Speak of Easter Week?’ He said that the book ‘was a great tribute to those heroes of Fermanagh who were prepared to fight and die for the freedom of Ireland at Easter 1916.’

Danny Morrison officially launches the book and speaks about the book being a great tribute to the Fermanagh Volunteers.

The Proclamation was read by May Murphy, granddaughter of one of the Fermanagh Volunteers, Owen Greene. A poignant moment for everyone in the room

Fermanagh 1916 Centenary Association Secretary, Mandy Leonard, spoke about the role that women played in the Rising and said that ‘although we were unable to find any documentary evidence of Fermanagh women having taken part, we are sure that they were there alongside the men and perhaps, in a future edition of the book, we will be telling their stories as more information comes to light.’

Fermanagh 1916 Centenary Association Secretary, Mandy Leonard, speaks about women's role in the Rising.

There was then a presentation of the books to representatives of the families of the volunteers who were in attendance by Siobhán Currie, Treasurer of the Fermanagh 1916 Centenary Association which was followed by a great rendition of ‘The Foggy Dew’, bringing the official launch proceedings to a close. 

Siobhán Currie presenting a copy of the book to Liam Scott, grandson of Irish Citizen Army Volunteer, William Scott.

Siobhán Currie presents a copy of the book to Paddy Gilgunn, fellow member of Fermanagh 1916 Centenary Association and relative of Volunteer Patrick McGuire.

'The Foggy Dew' is sang to bring proceedings to a close.  The book took it's title from the words of this song.

Although the official launch had finished, the music continued and it was an opportunity for people to buy the book, meet with the relatives’ families, and get their copies signed and just have a chat about the Rising.  Therein, one of the main objectives of writing this book is achieved: we want this book to create conversation for we should not fear to speak of Easter week and the role Fermanagh people played in it.

Musicians play on as the crowd discusses the book.

Danny Morrison signs a copy of the book for one of the audience.

Relatives of the Fermanagh Volunteers have the opportunity to meet each other for the first time.

Volunteers and Cumann na mBan in 1916 uniform

Wherever you are in the world - get your copy of the book here!

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