Who We Are

MendicityFlag_1916

Mendicity Garrison Tricolour, unique with its horizontal bars of colour

Sean Heuston commanded 28 Irish Volunteers at the Mendicity Institution during Easter week 1916: 15 men from the 1st Battalion, Dublin Brigade, and 13 re-enforcements from the 5th (Fingal) Battalion

Most of these had children and grandchildren, many alive today and carrying their family’s 1916 stories or memorabilia forward for their own grandchildren. We are the voluntary association of those people.

It’s been over seventy years since those who fought at the Mendicity gathered, with their own kids about. But after that, all those familial connections were lost and forgotten.

Then, in September 2014, contact was made between three families from Rush, Co Dublin – known to one another through the Fingal Old IRA as descendants of combatants in the Mendicity.

They decided to set about tracing other Mendicity descendants to discuss plans for Centenary commemorative events in 2016.

Later that month, through a Culture Night event in the Mendicity Institution, Island St, contact was made with two further families, and in October 2014 at a public meeting of the 1916 Relatives Association, yet another family emerged.

Representatives of these six families formed a committee in early November 2014 and elected as their Chairman Declan Costello, grandson of Patrick Kelly, Fingal Brigade, and as their Secretary, John Stephenson, grandson of PJ Stephenson, “D” Company, 1st Battalion.

This group of relatives commenced preparations for the Centenary, and obtained permission from both the Mendicity Institution and HSE Estates for the erection in 2016 of a commemorative plaque on their quayside buildings at Usher’s Island.

The relatives decided then to extend their plans to include an arts & heritage programme to involve people living locally, and also to leave some lasting legacy to benefit both the charitable work of the Mendicity and the surrounding community.

In April 2015, 99th anniversary commemorative events were organised at the graveside in Dr. Steeven’s Hospital of Peter Wilson (killed at the surrender) and also at the Mendicity, where wreaths were laid.

In the past year we’ve traced, or been found by, an increasing number of descendants of the brave and idealistic young Volunteers who fought for Irish freedom a century ago.

By March 2016, the 1916 Mendicity Garrison Relatives group numbered almost 200 people, representing 28 of the 29 combatants’ families. Heuston was executed on 8 May after a military court martial. Though he has no direct descendants his extended family are numbered amongst the 28.

The task of tracing the family of George Levins continues, led by our Research Officer, Helen Kelly.

 

CÉ MUIDNE?

Bhí Séan Heuston i gceannas ar 28 mball d’Óglaigh na hÉireann ag Institiúid na Déircíochta (Mendicity Institution) i rith Seachtain na Cásca 1916: 15 fear ón gCéad Chathlán, Briogáid Átha Cliath, agus 13 bhall athneartacha ón 5ú Complacht (Fine Gall).

Bí páistí agus garpháistí ag an gcuid is mó de na hóglaigh seo, a lán acu atá beo sa lá atá inniu ann agus iad ag caomhnú scéalta 1916 nó earraí cuimhneacháin dá ngarpháistí féin. Is cumann deonach sinne de na daoine sin.

Tá sé breis is seachtó bhliain ó tháinig iadsan a throid in Institiúid na Déircíochta le chéile lena bpáistí féin ina dtimpeall. Cailleadh na naisc theaghlaigh sin agus rinneadh dearmaid orthu sna blianta ina dhiaidh sin.

Ansin, i Meán Fómhair 2014 rinneadh teagmháil idir trí chlann ó An Ros, Co Áth Cliath. Bhí aithne acu ar a chéile, trí Sean-Arm Phoblacht na hÉireann (Sean-Óglaigh) Fhine Gall agus ba ghaolta de chomhraiceoirí Institiúid na Déircíochta iad. Shocraigh siad gaolta eile den Gharastún a lorg agus dul i gcaint leo faoi phleananna i gcomhair imeachtaí comórtha i 2016. Níos déanaí sa mhí sin, trí Oíche Chultúrtha in Institiúid na Déircíochta, Sráid na hInse, rinneadh teagmháil le dhá chlann eile, agus i nDeireadh Fómhair 2014, ag cruinniú poiblí de Chumann Ghaolta 1916, tháinig clann eile chun cinn.

Bhunaigh ionadaithe ó na sé chlann seo cumann go luath i Samhain 2014 agus toghadh Declan Costello, garmhac de Patrick Kelly, 5ú Complacht Fhine Gall, mar chathaoirleach agus John Stephenson, garmhac PJ Stephenson, Complacht “D”, an Chéad Chathlán, mar rúnaí.

 

Thosaigh an grúpa gaolta seo ag ullmhú don chomóradh i 2016 agus fuair siad cead ón Institiúid na Déircíochta agus ó Eastáit Fheidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte (FSS) plaic chomórtha a chur suas ar a bhfoirgnimh cois cé ag Oileán Uiséir.

Shocraigh na gaolta ansin a bpleananna a leathnú chun clár ealaíon agus oidhreachta a chur ar fáil chun an pobal áitiúil a tharraingt isteach sa chomóradh agus chun oidhreacht bhuan a fhágáil as a mbainfidh obair charthanach na hInstitiúide agus an pobal mórthimpeall tairbhe.

In Aibreán 2015, eagraíodh imeachtaí do chomóradh 99 mbliana an Éirí Amach cois uaigh Peter Wilson (a maraíodh ag an ngéilleadh) in Ospidéal Dr Steevens agus freisin ag Institiúid na Déircíochta, áit a raibh searmanais fleascleagain.

Diaidh ar ndiaidh, i rith na bliana seo caite, d’éirigh linn teacht ar níos mó gaolta de na fir chróga idéalaíocha a throid ar son Saoirse na hÉireann céad bhliain ó shin, nó rinne siadsan teagmháil linn. Faoi Mhárta 2016, bhí beagnach 200 duine cláraithe le Cumann Gaolta Gharastún Mendicity (Institiúid na Déircíochta), ionadaithe ó 28 den 29 gclann a shíolraigh ó na comhraiceoirí. Cuireadh Seán Heuston chun báis ar an 8 Bealtaine tar éis cúirt airm. Cé nach bhfuil aon duine ann a shíolraigh go díreach uaidh tá baill dá theaghlach i measc an 28 a shínigh linn.

Tá ár nOifigeach Taighde, Helen Kelly, fós ag iarraidh teacht ar ghaolta George Levins.