The 1916 Rising in County Wexford was the most significant event outside Dublin in terms of longevity, the numbers involved and extent of territorial control exercised. Irish Volunteer forces assumed control of Enniscorthy on the Thursday morning (27th April 1916) and before the weekend extended their influence to the entire northern half of the county. The control lasted until the following Monday (1st May) when Enniscorthy was the last area to surrender in the country.
It was little wonder then that the spirit of 1798, nurtured by folk memories and oral tradition and kept alive by the Young Irelanders and the Fenians should be re-awakened at the foot of Vinegar Hill. The Rising in County Wexford and in Enniscorthy in particular during Easter Week 1916 was the most important contribution to the Rising outside Dublin.
On Easter Monday 2016 Wexford County Council lead and co-ordinated a moving programme for the Commemoration of the Centenary of the 1916 Rising.
Abbey Square and all of Enniscorthy Town was filled with the people of Wexford who were joined by visitors and dignitaries to mark this momentous date in Ireland’s history. Abbey Square fell silent as thousands gathered to pay tribute to the volunteers of 1916.
A fitting programme of events was rolled out throughout the afternoon and enjoyed by everyone as they honoured and remembered.
Well done to everyone involved in the Wexford Centenary commemoration.
Here are some images from the day, captured by Wexford Local Authorities Photographic Society – Images taken by Brian McDonald © Wexford Local Authorities Photographic Society
The Rising of Easter Week marked a crucial turning point in Irish history. Before the Rising Home Rule had been enshrined in law but the world had changed with the Great War. The Rising and the executions of the leaders had a major impact on the public opinion and led ultimately to the victory of republican ideas and to the demand for a separate independent Irish Free State. That was the real victory won in apparent defeat by the men and women of 1916.