Memorial and parade will honour Thomas Kent

A monument to be erected next month honouring Thomas Kent will feature a code which can be scanned by smartphone to provide access to a website dedicated to information about the patriot and the 1916 Rising.

By Seán O’ Riordan

 

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A year after his body was exhumed from an unmarked plot in Cork prison and interred in the family grave in Castlelyons, Co Cork, commemoration events in memory of Kent have been organised in his native village, nearby Fermoy and Cork city.

The commemorations will get underway on May 1 when the bridge crossing the River Blackwater in Fermoy is officially named in Thomas Kent’s honour.

The bridge is the place where he was famously pictured under armed guard.

The Defence Forces has organised a private family service for Kent’s relatives in Collins Barracks on May 9 which will be followed by an open-day featuring presentations and exhibitions and the premier of ‘Tom Kent Lament’, commissioned by Castlelyons Pipe Band and composed by Barry Murphy of Carrigaline.

On May 15 a parade including UN veterans, Army 1 Brigade Band, community groups, and sporting organisations will march from Castlelyons Community Centre to Fr Ferris Community Field for the unveiling of a large black granite monument honouring Kent and other local volunteers.

 

The monument will feature the photograph of Kent and his brother, William, being marched over the bridge in Fermoy after they had unsuccessfully defended their home Bawnard House, Castlelyons, on May 2, 1916, against a force of RIC and military. Another brother, Richard, died two days later from his wounds while Thomas was executed in Cork Prison on May 9.

The monument will include poetry written by and about the Kent Brothers and the Proclamation in full. It’s also fitted with an embedded quick response (QR) code. This can be scanned by smartphones using a free app and provides instant access to a website with all the history related to the 1916 Rising.

The parade will include youth groups carrying the four provincial flags and flags of the 32 counties. Recollecting the 1916-era, a Model T and armoured car will be included in the parade and people attending are being encouraged to dress in period costume, while Mná na hÉireann attire will be worn by Claire Cullinane and the Cobh Animation Group.

Others taking part in the parade will be dressed as RIC, British soldiers, and Volunteers. The monument will be unveiled by Mayor of County Cork, John Paul O’Shea. An oration will be given by renowned military historian company quartermaster Sgt Gerry White.


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