Conor Dillon
Fri, 16 Sep 2016
Children of 1916

Children of 1916

In June of this year I was invited, through the Youth Council of Ireland, to help commemorate the children who died in the 1916 Rising at Aras an Uachtarain. There were children invited from all over Ireland and also relatives of the children who died. First of all we had tea & cakes and then Joe Duffy (RTE) joined us to give a speech of welcome and to talk about a book he has written called “Children of the Rising”. We were then joined by the President, Michael D. Higgins & his wife, Sabina. After a speech from the President, we were involved  in a lantern ceremony. We were given a silver lantern to represent each child that had died. I carried my lantern to honour a young 16 year old girl called Mary Redmond. I'm not sure how she died though. There were 38 children who died altogether. The President then planted a tree in commemoration, in the gardens at Aras an Uachtarain and beside it a time capsule containing information on how we remembered those 38 children from a century ago. It was a special day with music in the gardens, old fashioned games such as skittles & hop-scotch and also a merry-go-round in the style of the day. I met the Minister for Children & The Children’s Ombudsman (Katherine Zappone & Niall Muldoon). I was also lucky enough to meet The President & Mrs Higgins who were both lovely & chatty.