Sr Maria Kenny, who is the Parish Sister in Ringsend, Dublin writes about an Ecumenical Service that took place in the parish recently to remember 40 children who died in the 1916 Easter Rising.
On Tuesday 15 May 2015 we were delighted to be able to participate in an Ecumenical Service in St. Patrick’s Church, Ringsend, to remember the children of 1916 who were killed in the crossfire and chaos during the Rising – many of whom were forgotten and some buried in unmarked graves.
The Service was led by Fr. lvan Tonge P.P., who was joined by Canon Barbara Fryday and Fr. Michael Scott, both of whom are related to two of the children who were killed. The President (Michael D Higgins), the Lord Mayor (Christy Burke) and two senior Government Ministers were in attendance (James Reilly and Alex White). Joe Duffy (RTE Broadcaster) had spent the last three years researching these 40 young children. The children’s ages ranged from two to sixteen years. All of them, except three, were identified by relatives or friends.
The President spoke and said “these children were taken before they had time to blossom”. It is hoped that the Government will come up with a suitable memorial, not just for the children but also to remember the hundreds of civilians who lost their lives during the Rising.
Forty boys and girls from the fifth and sixth classes of St. Patrick’s Scholl, Ringsend, carried up a large Poster with the name and age of each child and read it aloud from the altar. It was so moving and brought tears from many in the congregation. Cór-na-Nóg choir from R.T.E. sang “The Voice of an Angel” and it was a Little Bit of Heaven to hear their angelic young voices. The whole service was prayerful, dignified, poignant and moving. Joe Duffy is presently writing a book on the subject, which he hopes to have published by the end of the year.