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O'Donovan Rossa centenary commemoration

13 Jul 2015
O'Donovan Rossa centenary commemoration

The centenary commemoration of the death of the Cork Fenian Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa continues this week, with the following events scheduled in west Cork

The centenary commemoration of the death of the Cork Fenian Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa continues this week, with the following events scheduled in west Cork: 

Tuesday 14 July                                               Opening of exhibition in Clonakilty library on the life and times of O’Donovan Rossa organised by Cork County Library Service

Wednesday 15 July                                         Launch of exhibition of newspaper articles relating to the life of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, offices of the Southern Star, Skibbereen

Thursday 16 July & Friday 17 July                Academic conference organised by the School of History, on the life and legacy of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, to be held in the Celtic Ross hotel, Rosscarbery (draft programme below)

Friday 17 July                                                   Remembrance of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa in story and song, Corner Bar Skibbereen

Sunday 19 July                                                 Performance of platform dancing, traditional music and drama on the life of O’Donovan Rossa, Reenascreena

Sunday 19 July                                                 Opening night of new play ‘Rossa,’ written by Maria Young and inspired by the 19145 award-winning drama of the same name by Roger McHugh, the former (indeed first) Professor of Anglo–Irish Literature and

Drama in UCD. The first two nights (Sunday 19 and Monday 20) will be performed in Skibbereen Town Hall, with the third and fourth (and final) nights in the Rossmore theatre on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 July.


As part of the commemoration, on the night of Friday 24 July a night-time parade will be staged in Skibbereen, to commemorate both O’Donovan Rossa himself, and a meeting he, and others, organised in the town in 1863 in support of the January Uprising of that year in Poland. The original meeting attracted 6,000 participants, despite being banned – all this in a town still getting on its feet following the devastation of the Famine. On the night of the 24th, all street lights in the town will be turned off, no car parking will be allowed in the streets, shops are being encouraged to put on  window displays from the nineteenth century, there will be blazing tar barrels and torches, participants will be dressed in period costume etc. We are very keen to have as many Polish people involved in the parade as possible bearing in mind the purpose of the original demonstration. If any Polish member of staff would like to get involved, or if anyone knows anyone from Poland who might wish to participate, please contact me and I will provide more details.


For those who are interested, the committee that has done such a magnificent task of renovating O’Donovan Rossa park in Skibbereen has struck a limited number of O’Donovan Rossa commemorative medallions (price €10), the proceeds of the sale of which will be going to meeting the costs of the renovation. I have a number in my office for anyone who is interested in purchasing same.


Gabriel Doherty



’Donovan Rossa, Fenian:

Life and Legacy


Ardagh Suite, Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery

Thursday 16-Friday 17 July 2015




Opening remarks

               Gabriel Doherty, School of History, University College Cork



O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral and the nationalist funereal tradition

               Michael Laffan, emeritus Professor of History, University College Dublin



Session ends




The Fenian Uprising of 1867

               Pádraig Ó Conchubahir, independent scholar






O’Donovan Rossa’s prison legacy: the public evolution of policy towards political prisoners in Ireland 1877-1920

               Gabriel Doherty, School of History, University College Cork



Lunch break



Diarmuid Ó Donnabháin Rosa, tírghráthóir, a dhiallaigh le dúchas

               Bláthnaid Uí Chatháin, independent scholar






The life and afterlife of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa: a study in dissension

               Shane Kenna, Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin



Closing remarks

               Gabriel Doherty, School of History, University College Cork


Conference organised by the School of History University College Cork.

For further information please telephone 021-4902783, email Please address any correspondence to: ‘O’Donovan Rossa conference’, School of History, University College Cork.

Organiser: Gabriel Doherty, School of History, University College Cork.

School of History

Scoil na Staire

Tyrconnell,Off College Road,Cork,Ireland.