At 7 am on Easter Tuesday 1916 Liam Mellows led the Galway Volunteers from the little village of Killeeneen into rebellion against Crown forces. It was a fiercely brave action for him and his poorly equipped Volunteers, given the severe consequences that the insurgents knew they would face afterwards by the authotities.
The men and women who partook in the Rising were predominantly the sons and daughters of small farmers. Many of them were active members of their local GAA club and for this reason Clarinbridge GAA club and Camogie club intend commemorating this courageous group on Sunday 17 July by walking the steps that they took from Killeeneen to Clarinbridge village beginning at 7am.
In 1916 the Volunteers attacked the RIC Barracks in Clarinbridge and took control of a sizeable portion of Galway from Oranmore, to Athenry and southwards to Limepark in Peterswell.
The GAA are honoured to have Michelle Drysdale, great grand-daughter of Thomas McDonagh, one of the seven signatories to the 1916 Proclamation join us in this walk. Michelle who lives nearby in Ballymana will share some fascinating anecdotes about her great grand-father, who was an accomplished poet and scholar. Along the three mile route there will be brief talks on various points of interest including Killeeneen schools, Roveagh Church, the Redington estate in Kilcornan as well as identifying the locations of various skirmishes between the Volunteers and the RIC.
The walk will conclude in Clarinbridge GAA clubhouse at about 9 am where the walkers will enjoy refreshments and will have an opportunity to examine displays by Clarinbridge and Killeeneen national schools, on the Rising as well as see some artefacts used during the insurrection. The walkers will be entertained with some Irish music and song by local musicians. Transport will be available to bring walkers back to their cars.
This may be the last opportunity for people to partake in 1916 commemorative events and this healthy and cultural event should interest both young and old. For further details one can contact the Clarinbridge 1916 Facebook page.