A FIRST issue copy of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic has been donated to University College Cork (UCC).
The copy of The Proclamation, which was donated by Liam and Kaye Cronin, has an impeccable provenance, known to have been brought directly from the General Post Office (GPO) during Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising.
1,000 copies of the Proclamation were printed at Liberty Hall on Easter Sunday in 1916 and it was read from the steps of the GPO on O’Connell Street in Dublin on Easter Monday by Pádraig Pearse in the presence of the other signatories of the document, heralding the Easter Rising, and Ireland’s advance towards self-determination.
The Proclamation donated to UCC has belonged to TD Richard Gogan, who came from a strongly republican family, joining the volunteers at the age of 14, and was reputedly the youngest member of the GPO garrison during the 1916 Rising.
He attended to James Connolly after he was wounded, and was one of the stretcher-bearers for Connolly when the GPO was evacuated. Gogan was later a founding member of Fianna Fáil, and a TD for Dublin North West from 1954 to 1977. He died in 1982.
Originally from Cork, the donors of this copy, Liam and Kaye Cronin, came into possession of the Proclamation in 1998, through Éamonn de Búrca, who is considered one of the world’s leading dealers in Irish antiquarian books and manuscripts.
During a handover ceremony in UCC on Tuesday, Mr Cronin said: “UCC is a university with deep heritage in Irish history and it is wonderful that this remarkable document will now be preserved here for future generations.”
In addition to the Proclamation, they also gifted €500,000 to support students, at undergraduate and PhD level, from under-represented socio-economic backgrounds.
The Daniel and Margaret Cronin Advancing Access Scholarships will be created at UCC in honour of Mr Cronin’s parents.
President of UCC Professor John O’Halloran said: “We are honoured to have become the guardians of this unique Proclamation and I wish to thank Liam and Kaye for their wonderful gift. In a matter of weeks UCC will host Ireland’s National Conference on the Civil War and this donation further recognises UCC as a centre for Irish History and the preservation of our rich national heritage.”
The Proclamation will be placed on display to the public in the university’s Glucksman Gallery from 10am to 5pm on June 8 to June 12.