Kinsale commemorates 100 years since the handing over of military forts 

Organised in conjunction with the County Mayor, Cllr Gillian Coughlan and a recently constituted commemoration committee which included local historians, Fergal Browne, Shannon Forde, JJ Hurley, Diarmuid O'Donovan and Padraig Walsh, the ceremony took place at midday near Charles Fort.
Kinsale commemorates 100 years since the handing over of military forts 

Members of the Lord Edwards Own Re-enactment Group as British soldiers re-enact leaving their barracks at a centenary commemoration at Charles Fort Kinsale to mark the handover of Kinsale Barracks from the British crown forces to the Irish Provisional government in 1922.

A ceremony to commemorate 100 years since the British Army handed over the military forts of Kinsale to the Irish Free State took place today in an event which was described as a great success.

Organised in conjunction with the County Mayor, Cllr Gillian Coughlan and a recently constituted commemoration committee which included local historians, Fergal Browne, Shannon Forde, JJ Hurley, Diarmuid O'Donovan and Padraig Walsh, the ceremony took place at midday near Charles Fort.

While the original handing over of the forts took place on February 19, 1922, due to the uncertainty of Covid restrictions earlier in the year, it was decided to host the commemoration event on Easter Monday.

Those in attendance at this afternoon's ceremony included the County Mayor, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) Patrick O’Donovan, members of the Defence Forces, local students and clergy members.

 Lt. Cl. Robert Hurley reads the Proclamation of Independence as Patrick O'Donovan, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Mayor of County Cork Cllr Gillian Coughlan look on at a centenary commemoration at Charles Fort Kinsale to mark the handover of Kinsale Barracks from the British crown forces to the Irish Provisional government in 1922. Picture: John Allen
Lt. Cl. Robert Hurley reads the Proclamation of Independence as Patrick O'Donovan, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Mayor of County Cork Cllr Gillian Coughlan look on at a centenary commemoration at Charles Fort Kinsale to mark the handover of Kinsale Barracks from the British crown forces to the Irish Provisional government in 1922. Picture: John Allen

As well as the Mayor delivering the keynote address, the programme also included music from Comhaltas Ballinspittle; a re-enactment of the handover to the Irish Free State from the departing British Army; participation from the Defence Forces and an outline from historian Shannon Forde of events on the day over 100 years ago.

“Today’s event was not just about commemorating the handover of the forts,” chairperson of the Kinsale Commemoration Committee, JJ Hurley told The Echo.

“More importantly today we gave a voice and a face to many of those who participated in the War of Independence in Kinsale and who have remained nameless for 100 years and today we felt that it was part of our job to recall a lot of those names.” 

These individuals, Mr Hurley said, are named in a recently published book by Shannon Forde, Don't Forget Me Now: Stories from the War of Independence in Kinsale.

Mr Hurley said during his address the Minister of State acknowledged the importance of Charles Fort as a heritage site and said that he had also met with members of Kinsale Chamber of Tourism and Business to discuss the heritage of the town.

“We were so grateful not just for the support of the Minister of State and Gillian Coughlan and Cork County Council but the community rallied behind us and made this such a successful event,” Mr Hurley added.

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