Commemorating Past Pupils who took part in 1916 Rising

Research carried out by the Past Pupils Union revealed that an extraordinary number of past pupils of Westland Row CBS took part in the 1916 Rising. We have been able to establish the names of 36 past pupils who were involved and a specially commissioned bronze plaque bearing their names was unveiled in a ceremony in the school on May 4th. 2016. This date also marked the centenary of the execution of Willie Pearse and after the unveiling ceremony the group attended a special Mass in St. Andrews church. Mass was celebrated by past pupil Monsignor Dan O’Connor and PPU chaplain, Fr. Eugene McCarthy. The Mass was well attended by past pupils, present pupils and teachers. Music and song were provided by Kathryn Smith and Carole O’Connor. The 36 names on the plaque are as follows –

Executed – Patrick and Willie Pearse

Killed in Action – Peadar Macken, Michael Malone, Daniel Murray, John O’Reilly

Civilian Casualties – Christopher Andrews and John Kirwan

Participated – Christopher Byrne, William Byrne, John Dunne, Theobald Fitzgerald, George A Lyons, Charles Murphy, Colm O’Murchada, James Walsh, John Byrne, Christopher Carbury, James Fitzgerald, Thomas Fitzgerald, William Fitzgerald, William McCabe, James O’Brien, James Purfield, Thomas Walsh, Thomas Byrne, Patrick J Daly, Leo Fitzgerald, Thomas Fullam, John Kinsella, Michael Merriman, Joseph O’Connor, John Joseph Quinn, Desmond Ryan, Patrick Ward and Henry Williams.

Here are some photographs (with thanks to Patrick Dowling, Rock Photography).

Des Byrne, author of The Revolutionary Years introduces the audience to some of the past pupils who took part in The Rising

Des Byrne, author of The Revolutionary Years introduces the audience to some of the past pupils who took part in The Rising

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Some of the audience at the unveiling ceremony. Una Malone and her two children represented William (direct connection) and Michael Malone. John and Paddy Sheridan represented their grandfather Patrick Ward. Dave Quinn represented James Purfield and the McGurrell brothers represented their great uncle, John Joseph Quinn.

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The plaque bearing the 36 names as above.

Dave Quinn (left), descendant of James Purfield and his friend Paddy (right). Both are past pupils who work in Trinity and who helped to set up the plaque on the day.

Dave Quinn (left), descendant of James Purfield and his friend Paddy (right). Both are past pupils who work in Trinity and who helped to set up the plaque on the day.

PPU President, Brian Duncan, Des Byrne and Principal Kate Byrne perform the unveiling ceremony.

PPU President, Brian Duncan, Des Byrne and Principal Kate Byrne perform the unveiling ceremony.

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Commemorating Past Pupils who took part in 1916 Rising

  1. James McGowan,PhD

    My Name is James McGowan ,a CBS graduate of the early 1960s in the class of Des Byrne, Ray Treacy, Eamon Donnelly, and the late Jock Coady.etc.
    I served for 1 year on the PPU before departing for Canada and the United States ,where I earned my BA,,MA and PhD. and taught History and Political Theory at the University of Chicago, and Rutgers University before forming a successful consulting firm focused on land development and commercial real estate in the NY/NJ markets. Currently retired , I live part of the year near Belfast on the beautiful Coast Of Maine, on the Irish Riviera in Spring Lake New Jersey, and in Naples ,Florida during the long northern winters.When reading your site for the first time, I am disturbed by the continued glorification of violence and the cult of the dead as part of your mission, Yet, I am encouraged by the breakdown of gender barriers, and by the playing of soccer and rugby in the school today.

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    • Hi James,
      I’m replying to your comment left on the PPU Blog site on September 25th 2016. I’m sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I tend to put up new Blogs as a means of communicating news to the past pupils and I only returned to the site today, after some time away, to post a Blog on the new Row Person of the Year for 2017. I hope you will see that and be impressed with the outstanding work of our fellow past pupil, Fr. Kavanagh, over a long period of time. The 1916 centenary commemorations brought forth a lot of emotions in Ireland. There was extensive coverage on TV with many scenes of violence and fighting. Whether we liked it or not we were forced to confront our violent history. There was no way that the Row could escape by ignoring our past pupils who fought and died in the Rising or indeed the Great War. I’m not sure if you got a copy of “The Revolutionary Years” which we produced as a separate booklet and also as a chapter in Cuimhneachan 150. If you did I’m sure you will agree that it was a very accurate and balanced account of the events of those years. Far from glorifying violence, the book bemoans the terrible loss of life and the tragedies visited on many families. Anyway, we now have a chance to put these matters behind us for another 100 years at least and concentrate on positive stories such as Fr. Kavanagh etc. Have a happy Christmas and New Year. Regards, Jim Conway

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