Home' The Southern Cross : April 2016 Contents Page 26 April 2016
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MERCY IN ACTION: As part of their Mercy International Reflection Process in the
Jubilee Year of Mercy, 33 Sisters of Mercy gathered in Adelaide last month. The
group identified the plight of asylum seekers and refugees and the destruction of
the environment to focus and reflect upon over the coming months. This will lead
to effective concerted action in whatever field is required: political, environmental,
cultural and social justice. The event followed a celebration marking the conclusion
of the Year of Consecrated Life, commencement of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year
of Mercy and commemoration of our Mercy Foundation Day. Pictured at that event
are, from left: Sr Marie Ralph, Sr Veronica Lawson, Sr Tess Flaherty, Sr Duyen
Nguyen, Sr Kate Conley and Maddie Kelly.
Leading up to April 24, commemorations
are being held in Ireland, Australia and
around the world for the 100th anniversary
of the historical 1916 Easter Rising.
The Easter Rising is a definitive political
event in Irish history which occurred over
Easter week and saw Irish republicans
clash with British forces in Dublin and
other locations around Ireland.
Members of the Irish Volunteers led by
Patrick Pearce and Thomas Clarke joined
with the Irish Citizen Army of James
Connolly to form a force of around 1,600.
They captured key locations in Dublin,
including the General Post Office and
proclaimed an Irish Republic, free from
British rule which had been in place since
the 12th Century.
Over 2,000 people were wounded or killed
in the event, which would ultimately lead
to the Irish War of Independence and the
establishment of the Irish Free State.
Declan Forman is an Irishman who has
been living in Australia since 1988 and
is heading to Dublin with wife Trish for
the commemorations over the Easter
His grandfather James Brendan fought in
the Rising, so the event holds particular
significance to him.
Mr Forman will be joining other
descendants and relatives in a march
to Liberty Hall on April 24 as part of a
number of events held to mark the date.
“My grandfather fought in the Mendicity
building under the command of Seán
Heuston, who was the youngest
commanding officer during the Rising – he
was 25,” he said.
Brendan fought alongside 26 other men
who successfully held their position for
over two days against hundreds of British
troops, before ultimately surrendering.
He survived the fighting and was due to
be executed, said Mr Forman.
“All the men were due for execution and
my grandfather wrote a letter to his wife
and family saying goodbye.
“In the end Heuston along with the main
leaders of the Rising were shot, but my
grandfather and most of the other men
were sent to prisons all over England.
“He was sent to Pentenville until 1917,
when he was pardoned and sent home to
The Easter Rising is a particularly
significant event for the global Irish
community and through the Centenary
Program, the Irish Government has called
on people to remember, reflect and
reimagine 100 years of history.
“Ireland has been fighting for its freedom
for hundreds of years” said M Forman.
“The Easter Rising in 1916 was really a
turning point, and the change in support
following it brought about a lot of Irish
“I think in a lot of ways the Easter Rising
is significant to the Irish in the same way
ANZAC Day is significant to Australians.
“There are actually Irishmen who fought
at Gallipoli buried in Dublin, so we’ll be
attending a dawn service the very next
morning on the 25th for ANZAC Day.”
The Adelaide Irish Club will be hosting an
Easter Rising 1916 history presentation by
Irish Australian Val Noone on April 24.
The Irish Australian Association of
Adelaide established an official 1916
Commemorative Events Committee
in early 2016, which is part of the Irish
Government’s Ireland 2016 Global
Events program. This included funding
and support from the Irish Embassy in
Canberra as part of the “Clár Comórtha
Céad Bliain” (Irish 1916-2016 Centenary
Since January, the SA Irish Easter
1916 Commemoration Committee has
organised a number of events including
a concert fundraiser as well as a family
day which included an educational
presentation for children of all ages.
They also launched a children’s 1916
art, creative writing and multimedia
competition with the winners announced
on St Patrick’s day on March 17. On
Easter Sunday, March 27, the Adelaide
Irish Club held a commemoration day,
screening historical footage alongside
music poetry, songs and stories.
A special Mass of remembrance for
the Easter Uprising will be celebrated
in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on
May 1. Worshippers will be invited to
wear something green and there will
be Irish hymns. Representatives of the
Irish community and schools with a
Catholic Irish heritage will be invited to
FEAST DAY: The feast of St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland and the Adelaide
Archdiocese, was celebrated by about 200 people, including students from
Christian Brothers College, St Paul’s College and Rostrevor College in St Francis
Xavier’s Cathedral. The schools are in the tradition of Edmund Rice, the Irishman
who founded the Christian Brothers. During his homily, Archbishop Wilson said
that people had come from Ireland to the United States and Australia in mass
exodus in the 19th century and had brought a deep appreciation of their faith
which had sustained them during their persecution in Ireland. They appreciated
the freedom they were given here to practise their faith and the celebration and
the feast of St Patrick was an opportunity to remember what he began in the 5th
century. CBC students (L-R) Stuart O’Neil and Riley Atkins are pictured with a
statue of St Patrick.
Remembering our Irish heritage
By Jack Manning
The Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916.
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