In the year 2016 there will be worldwide celebrations, commemorations of the year 1916 which marked a turning point in Ireland’s attempt to become an independent state. In particular the Rising in Dublin will be commemorated . In addition there will also be events to remember all those who fought in World War One – and especially those who died in 1916.
Youghal Celebrates History will be holding a special event called Youghal 1916 , Degrees of Separation which will tell the story of three men and a boat , connected someway with Youghal, connected someway with 1916.
Major Jack Arbutnott of Myrtle Grove,Youghal was a Major in the Scots Guards. He met Roger Casement when he was in the Tower of London awaiting trial. He was a regular sketcher and made a sketch of Casement in the Tower. He also contacted Casement’s family and told them where Casement was imprisoned. Maybe one of them remembered another famous prisoner in the Tower – Sir Walter Raleigh – who is also connected with Myrtle Grove. Journalist Patrick Cockburn tells the story of his grand father Major Jack Arbuthnott and the portraits he made of Casement in the Tower.
A very young Scottish boy joined the British Army under an assumed name – he was too young to enlist under his own name. He was posted to Cork, Cobh and Youghal.Times were tough in Youghal in 1882 . A vicious land war and a refusal to pay rents to landlords who would not negotiate led to widespread evictions. The young soldier eventually deserted. His name ? James Connolly … who would later play a major role in the 1916 Rising in Dublin. Author and Historian Felix Larkin will describe the tense atmosphere in Youghal in 1882.
A young Irishman joined the Royal Munster Fusileers full of enthusiasm to fight in World War One but they considered him, at 16 to be too young. He transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment which had no difficulty sending him to the Front Line. HE was killed in the Battle of the Somme and his father got a telegram …. Kieran Groeger tells the story of young Eric Colpoys Hodges. His father was Rector in Saint Mary’s Collegiate Church. Reverend Hodges got thetelegram to say his son had been killed in the Battle of the Somme. It was not clear which of the two sons had been killed. It was, in fact, Eric Hodges and his story will be told.
During the Irish Civil War which followed the events of 1916, a schooner called the Isabella visited Youghal. Some of the crew came ashore and heard a cry “Halt”. Shortly afterwards a shot rang out and the Captain’s young son was dead. Dymphna Quill will tell this story along with some amazing details on how she came upon the story.
These stories will be told on September 16th, in Youghal at the Walter Raleigh Hotel. If you are interested in attending, let us know. The event is free, yes FREE thanks to generous sponsorship from Cork County Council. We have a venue booked. TheWalter Raleigh Hotel . Tickets will be issued on a first come first served basis.