Sinn Féin Beechmount (West Belfast) organised a bus trip to Dublin for the re-enactment marking the centenary of the Funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa. They must surely have been disappointed to discover that he was not executed.
The veteran Fenian died in New York City….natural causes…aged 83.
The significance of the Funeral (1st August 1915) was that his body was re-patriated to Ireland and the occasion used by the Irish Republican Brotherhood as a major propaganda coup. The graveside oration by Padraig Pearse (in Volunteer uniform) is one of the great speeches. It is loosely referenced in the play “The Plough and the Stars” (by Sean O’Casey).
“The Fools…the Fools…The Fools. They have left us our Fenian Dead. And while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”.
The speech is (retrospectavely) regarded as the beginning of the countdown to the Easter Rising, less than a year later.
Still, Sinn Féin is the self-appointed guardian of the Republican Flame. But by any standards, this is a stupid and embarrassing mistake.