Tradition, celebration and commemoration: Easter in Cork over the decades

This year, the annual Easter Rising commemorations are back for in-person events for the first time since the onset of the pandemic
Tradition, celebration and commemoration: Easter in Cork over the decades

Easter ceremonies at the grave of Thomas Kent at Collins Barracks, Cork in the 1970s.

EASTER weekend is once again upon us — a time of year that is steeped in tradition, celebration, and of course, commemoration.

This year, the annual Easter Rising commemorations are back for in-person events for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.

Delving through the archives there are a plethora of images commemorating the seismic uprising, including a significant event to mark the 20th anniversary in Macroom.

Following the 50th anniversary of the Rising in 1966, The Evening Echo published a letter to the editor in which one individual who merely identified themselves as ‘L.F.’ from Greenmount stated that while they felt the ceremonies marking the golden jubilee commemorations were an “unqualified success”, half a century had passed and the “real aim of 1916” was “as far away as ever”.

Ahead of an Easter Rising commemoration in the city tomorrow, keynote speaker, Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly said she believes the 1916 Proclamation “remains the mission statement for a new Ireland”.

Twentieth anniversary of Easter week commemoration at Macroom, 1936. 
Twentieth anniversary of Easter week commemoration at Macroom, 1936. 

“It is a freedom charter for the people of this island which guarantees religious and civil liberty and promotes equal rights and opportunities for all citizens.

“In 2022, the currents of change in Ireland are powerful. We have a real opportunity to see how we can make the united, independent Ireland envisaged in 1916 a reality.

“There is an urgent onus on the Irish Government to establish a Citizens’ Assembly on Irish unity so that we have the right forum for an historic public conversation about the future of our country,” she said.

People attending the commemoration are asked to assemble at 2.30pm at the National Monument on the Grand Parade for the parade to the republican plot at St Finbarr’s Cemetery.

Ms O’Reilly said she is honoured to be invited to address the Easter commemoration in Cork.

“It is the first time in three years that we have been able to gather in-person to remember and commemorate those, from all generations, who gave their lives for Irish freedom. We are expecting a big turnout on Sunday.

“There is huge respect and reverence from the people of Cork for Ireland’s revolutionary history.”

Members of Cork Junior Red Cross technical school making Easter baskets for local hospitals, 1952. 
Members of Cork Junior Red Cross technical school making Easter baskets for local hospitals, 1952. 

Traditionally, Easter is also a time where creativity comes to the fore, as the photo of students creating Easter baskets in 1952 illustrates.

In the city today, local suppliers will be showing off their talent at an Easter craft market at Nano Nagle Place in the front plaza from 10am to 5pm.

Typically, the lead-up to Easter is a busy one for other markets in the city, such as the English Market and the Coal Quay as people stock up on supplies and gifts for Easter Sunday.

Easter at the Coal Quay, 1965. 
Easter at the Coal Quay, 1965. 

Business and tourism are likely to get a boost over the Easter period with Cork Airport set to welcome over 60,000 passengers.

For April 2022, seat capacity at Cork Airport is at 101% compared to April 2019, building on what has been a “very positive start to 2022”, acting managing director at Cork Airport, Roy O’Driscoll said.

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