On this day 1976 RTE aired a documentary about Three Candles Press on Radio na Raidio na Gaeltachta. Founder, Colm O’Lochlainn was one of the original members of Scoil Acla and a friend of Emily’s. In 1926 he founded Three Candles Press. Each candle represented one of the principles of truth, wisdom and knowledge. The business, was ahead of its time in the way it put the quality of its work and care of its employees ahead of profit.
His real love over printing and the politics of the Revolutionary period, which he was involved in for a time, was music and the collection of Irish Ballads, which he made his life’s work. Along with his friend Seamus Ennis, contributed greatly to the collection and retention of tunes that may have, without their intervention have got lost in the mists of time.
William Gerard O’Loughlin was born in Dublin on the 11th of October 1892. His father John O’Loughlin was a travelling sales representative for a printing company. His mother was a Delia (Bridget) Carr from Limerick City whose family were wealthy and in the printing business...Read more
After the Easter Rising more than 3,000 were arrested for their part or their supposed part. One was Emily, who was held on Remand at Tullamore Gaol for a week, for “…acting in such a manner as to give reasonable grounds for suspecting that she was about to act in a manner prejudicial to the Defense of the Realm”. The Act was passed when WWI broke out in 1914 to control communications at the ports around Britain and Ireland, and subject civilians to the rule of military courts. It was also under D.O.R.A the leaders of the Rising were tried and condemned to death under. Those who were not given the Death Penalty, were given various sentences, the more extreme rebels were sent to prisons across Britain, such as Emily’s friend Darrell Figgis. One such prison was Frongoch in Wales.
Frongoch, an abandoned distillery was initially used to house prisoners of war. It was sort of repurposed as a detention centre for prisoners of the Rising. The camp comprised of cold, dank, rat infested huts, equally if not more dismal than prison cells. The internees only real comfort was that they were free to mix and mingle with one another. Nevertheless they overheated in the summer and frozen in the colder months of late autumn and early winter, but were ‘saved by the bell’ when they were released just before Christmas 1916 otherwise some may have perished during coldest time of the year. As early as the summer Irish MP, Mr. Ginnell put it to the Home Secretary whether the food given to the Irish prisoners was sufficient for the healthy young countrymen. Mr. Samuel replied; “The diet is identical with that supplied to military and naval prisoners of war and is amply sufficient to keep the prisoners in good health”. It was not. But the Committee of the Irish National Aid and volunteer Dependents’ Fund, which Emily collected and gave generously to, intervened. They set out to make sure that the internees were not deprived of ‘celebrating’ “Hallow Eve”. They put the notice below in the newspapers:
One hundred years ago today, 3 May 1921 under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, the partition of Ireland took place. The then Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland divided Ireland into two self-governing zones, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. Emily had Northern Irish family origins, in Ardglass, Co. Down when her maternal grandfather, Richard M’Arthur was born, as was her mother.
It is one hundred and five years since the first executions of the 1916 Rebels began, starting with Patrick Pearse.
Also one hundred years ago on this day the Tourmakeady Ambush took place in Co. Mayo. The South Mayo Flying Column, backed by local volunteers staged an attack on a convey of lorries carrying supplies to the RIC station there. Read more:
It is ten years since I took this photo of the the lonely grave of Emily M. Weddall. In the historical Republican Plot, it was perhaps the only unmarked final resting place of those who fought for Irish Independence.
It remained unmarked for many decades as Emily died without descendants, and her closest surviving relatives no nearer than Australia. Apart from the occasional visit from her friends, fewer and fewer as the year rolled by. But in 2012, sixty years after her death members of Scoil Acla, the same summer school she co-founded in 1910, decided to remedy the situation. In November of that year unveiled, a gravestone befitting the character of Emily Weddall.
The gravestone with an stained glass inset was meticulously chosen by the committee of Scoil Acla. It is a symbol of and a tribute to Emily who donated her stained glass panel of St. Brendan, by Wilhelmina Geddes (1887–1955) to Curran Catholic Church. Geddes was an Irish born stained glass artist, whose work graces churches, art galleries and museums all over the world. Emily purchased the piece at an art fair in London in 1925.