Kinsale to celebrate fort centenary on Easter Monday

This year marks 100 years since Charles Fort and James Fort were handed over to the Irish Free State by British forces following the War of Independence
Kinsale to celebrate fort centenary on Easter Monday

Mayor for the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan, with local Kinsale historians Padraig Walsh and JJ Hurley. Picture: John Allen.

THE town of Kinsale will mark a special centenary at its former military forts this Easter Monday.

This year marks 100 years since Charles Fort and James Fort were handed over to the Irish Free State by British forces following the War of Independence.

To mark the occasion, a ceremony will take place near Charles Fort at midday on April 18, featuring music, a reenactment, and an address from the Mayor for the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan.

The programme will also include participation from the Defence Forces and historian Shannon Forde will provide an outline of the events of the handover.

Comhaltas Ballinspittle will perform.

"While we see these as a tourist attraction today and are delighted the OPW preserves them, it's important to remember they were defensive positions," said Mayor Coughlan.

"Therefore, it is essential we mark when they were handed over to the Irish Free State, and we will do that on Easter Monday. This is a meaningful ceremony, marking a seminal moment in the locality and nationally."

The handover of the forts took place on February 19, 1922, but it was decided that the event would be held this month due to the pandemic.

It was organised in conjuction with County Hall by a recently constituted commemoration committee, which includes local historians Fergal Browne, Shannon Forde, JJ Hurley, Diarmuid O' Donovan, and Padraig Walsh.

"I would pay 100% credit to the organising committee, who have a considerable interest in telling the story of the town's history and want to bring that narrative to a broader audience," said Ms Coughlan.

"There is a whole generation not taught that story but who are keen now, so the best way to learn history is to experience it and come out and enjoy the programme, making what should be a memorable occasion."

The mayor also wished to praise her colleagues on the commemoration committee at County Hall for their support for the event and the assistance of the Council's heritage officer Connor Neligan, whom she described as invaluable.

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