Proceedings were Chaired by Alan McCabe, who welcomed those present before outlining the reasoning behind the campaign – to keep pressure on the political establishment, both in Ireland and Britain, that Irish Unity be kept at the top of the agenda in the run-up to the centenary next year.

The event began with the playing of The Foggy Dew on the tin-whistle by James Connolly, Castletowngeoghegan, followed by a reading of the 1916 Proclamation by Ken Connolly. The Ballad of Joe McDonnell was then played on the tin-whistle by Maggie Rose Connolly.  Following this, a speech was given by Peter Rogers of the Dermody/Leavy Cumann.

Derek Warfield and The Young Wolf Tones were then introduced to the gathering by Alan McCabe. Derek spoke of his privilege to be present at the campaign launch. He believed it to be a simple but significant campaign, asking people for a commitment to do nothing more than sign their name in support of our national rights. Derek and The Young Wolf Tones then performed a number of songs, including Leo Keegan Casey’s, The Rising of the Moon, before being first to sign the Westmeath petition, followed by Alan McCabe, Peter Rogers and Ken Connolly.

In appreciation of his presence at the launch, Peter Rogers then presented Derek Warfield with a framed copy of the 1916 Proclamation on behalf of the Spirit of Irish Freedom 1916 Society, Westmeath.

To finish, Alan McCabe thanked all who came to support the Westmeath launch, asking everyone present to sign the petition before leaving and to bring away petition sheets for their family and friends to do likewise. Maggie Rose Connolly then brought proceedings to a close with a rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann.