The Thomas Behan Society Kildare had the honour of hosting the first commemoration of the Centenary celebrations, remembering the first actions of the 1916 Rising in Colt Wood, Clondadoran, Co. Laois.
The event was held on a murky and windy day but despite the weather conditions a considerable number of supporters attended. The day’s proceedings were Chaired by Richard Whyte from the Thomas Behan Society, with the event held in both Irish and English.
Conor Whyte read The Proclamation, with Luke Keogh reading the Kildare IRA Roll of Honour thereafter. Philip Riordan then spoke about the First Actions of the Rising and the role of the Laois Volunteers who participated.
A minute’s silence was called for and the National Flag lowered to half mast by Davy Loughney of the Tomás Allen Society Meath. Agnes Keogh then played ‘The Foggy Dew’ on the tin whistle while the Tricolour was raised back to full mast.
Paul Scannell spoke on behalf of the 1916 Societies, followed by a few words from guest speaker and Veteran IRA Volunteer Richard Behal. His words were inspiring as he explained the origins of the Easter Lily Badge and the new impetus within Irish Nationalism in the wake of the Centenary celebrations.
Cailín Whyte then laid a wreath on behalf of the Behan Society and Agnes Keogh a wreath on behalf of the families of our fallen comrades. National Organiser Paul Scannell laid a wreath on behalf of the Societies before Agnes Keogh concluded proceedings with the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann.
In conclusion, Richard thanked all who attended despite the weather. He sent solidarity and Easter greetings from the 1916 Societies to all Republican Prisoners held in Irish and British Gaols.
The Thomas Behan Society would like to thank all who attended, especially our Volunteer Colour Party, Richard Behal and Paul Scannell. Without the help of these individuals the event would not have proved the success that it was. Go raibh míle maith agaibh.