Category Archives: Events

Achill Commemoration: Easter ’16

On Easter Monday 2016 Achill people and current members of Scoil Acla commemorated the Easter Rising. A special wreath, a replica of the one Emily and Darrell Figgis put on the grave of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa in August 1915, was laid at the gatepost of Hala Acla, built by Emily Weddall c. 1910.

The photos below taken by Minette Glynn documented the event.

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Easter ’16. Now and then; 1916 Rebellion Tour

On this day 100 years ago, April 24th, the  Easter Rising began. It is hard to imagine, now in 2016 what it was like to have lived through what happened a century ago. The Old photos, film footage and newspaper reports along with modern day takes can help to paint the picture of the pivotal week in Irish history.

The International Bar on Wicklow St., where the tour begins

The International Bar on Wicklow St., the starting point of the tour

One such way of ‘reliving’ history is by taking the 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour. Established 20 years ago by Lorcan Collins the tour has been informing, educating and enthralling those join Lorcan and fellow tour guide, Conor Kostick. It is a walking history lesson following in the footsteps of those who dared to take on the biggest empire of the time.

Both men are well versed historians who have the ability to transport you back in time to the lead up, event and aftermath of the Rebellion. Stopping at the key buildings, streets, and alleyways, through their stories you can well picture the dramatic scenes of one hundred years ago.

Conor and Lorcan

Conor and Lorcan

The journey beginning at the International Bar on Wicklow St., will take you to locations such as Dublin Castle, Liberty Hall, O’Connell St. and to the principal site of the Rising, the GPO and beyond. To book a tour and hear Lorcan and Conor relay the story of the Rebellion go to

“That is why they were so magical and beautiful in my eyes because they just continued on the way they did in the aftermath, when all the odds were stacked up against them. We now continue to Moore St. where they took their last stand…” Lorcan Collins







Unmarked in 2010


Scoil Acla members at the unveiling of Emily’s headstone 24 November 2012. Photo by Carmel Feeney


Stained glass window, by Wilhelmina Geddes that Emily bequeathed to Our Lady of the Universe Church, Curran, Achill

On this day (November 24th) 1952 Emily died. Her funeral was attended by the Nationalists of the time, and her contemporaries that were still alive, at 85 she had outlived most of them. One, was her life long friend Dr. Kathleen Lynn. Apart from a niece and nephew in Australia she was the last of her bloodline too. She was laid to rest beside the Republican Plot in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Her grave lay unmarked for six decades. But it was not forgotten, by the people of Achill. The committee and members of the present Scoil Acla, the summer school that she co-founded in 1910 commissioned a gravestone. It was unveiled on 24th November 2012, on her 60th anniversary.

The Scoil Acla members and others  that had established a connection with her formed a small group at the gates of Glasnevin Cemetery, and followed a lone piper to her graveside where they laid items of significance to her life, a framed photo, a wreath (inscribed O Acla, identical to the one she and the Figgis’ laid on the grave of O’Donovan Rossa), and the book; Emily M. Weddall: bunaitheoir Scoil Acla by her friend and biographer Íosold Ní Dheirg. The ceremony that followed thanked  and praised her generosity and her legacy to the people of Achill.

The inscription on her gravestone;

Emily M Weddall

Bunaitheoir Scoil Acla

Member of Cumann na mBan

1867 – 1952

Failte Roimh Gach Gael

The occasion was recorded in poetry by Ciaran Parkes;

Poem For Emily

A holiday crowd
down from Achill
and other places,
people who knew her
when she was alive,
others, who came to know her
after she had died.

They follow the bright
Scoil Acla banner
past the famous
Glasnevin tombs
to where her new
gravestone is unveiled,
lonely no longer.

A lone piper plays,
people leave presents
around her grave,
flowers from Achill,
a copy of her biography,
tell the stories
to make her come alive again.

It’s like a party,
so many friends together
in the same small space
and her gravestone –
a stained glass panel
to let the light shine through,
bright and warm and multi-coloured.

I think of Emily
sitting on a hillside
somewhere in Achill
with two friends, her small dog,
in an old photograph,
pausing from her adventures,
smiling, looking down.

Ciarán Parkes

O’Donovan Rossa’s Funeral in August 1915

Tomorrow marks the Centenary of the funeral of Fenian Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, whose funeral was one of the biggest of its age. Republicans traveled to Dublin to follow the cortege from City Hall to Glasnevin Cemetery. The event attracted an Achill contingent too.

Here is a short film courtesy of independent filmmaker Marcus Howard that fusses beautifully  the original event with a present day re-enactment.

Thanks & Sources
Special thanks to Marcus Howard, who kindly allowed me to the above film “Padraig Pearse speech at the grave of O’Donovan Rossa (past and present)” from “Easter Rising Stories” on YouTube

Richard, Mary & family

After their marriage in 1825 Richard and Mary McArthur settled in the Cullenswood area, which encompassed modern day Rathmines. A year later their first child was born, a son, who they named Richard Lyons.

Richard was still involved in the book trade when Richard Jr. was born, but a year later he mysteriously left the Dublin book trade. His quick exit was noted:

“Hodges teamed up with one McArthur until 1827, when McArthur vanishes and the firm becomes Hodges and Smith.”


He returned home to Ardglass, Co. Down where his second child Emily, Emily’s mother was born. Nearby Belfast had a burgeoning book trade at that time too so it is possible that the family hoped to settle there. It is unclear how long they stayed in Co. Down. The next reference to Richard McArthur is on April 1st 1829, which sadly was his death announcement in the newspapers.

It was apparent that he had some health problems and that he had returned to Dublin hoping for a cure, but that was not to be.

Richard McArthur's Death notice in the Drogheada Herald

Richard McArthur’s Death notice in the Drogheda Journal 01 April 1829

Richard McArthur was originally buried in St. Peter’s Graveyard of St. Peter’s Church, Aungier Street, Dublin, the same church he was married in only a few years before. In early Eighties the church was demolished. He along with others were re-interred in St. Werburg’s Churchyard near making the city centre church his final resting place.

St Werbergs Churchyard, the final resting place of Ricard McArthur

St Werbergs Churchyard, the final resting place of Richard McArthur. Photo by Larry O’Neill 2015

Thanks to
Denise, Church warden at St Werburg’s
Larry O’Neill for his photos of St. Werburg’s
 Sources The Irish Times – Tuesday, December 19, 1961 – Page 8
Drogheda Journal, or Meath & Louth Advertiser on 01 April 1829