Plunkett plaque unveiling today
Ardmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh will unveil a plaque to honour the memory of Joseph Mary Plunkett, poet and a leader of the 1916 Rising, at 2pm on Wednesday 4th May, 2016 at 26 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2. The plaque was proposed by his grandniece, Honor Ó Brolchain, who will be present at the unveiling along with a number of relatives of Joseph Mary Plunkett.
'I am honoured to unveil this plaque, today, on the 100th anniversary of Joseph Mary Plunkett’s execution. This plaque unveiling is one of many of its kind taking place around the city to commemorate the 1916 volunteers and garrison sites. Fanfaidh Seosamh Pluincéid go deo i gcuimhne na ndaoine i mBaile Átha Cliath,” said an tArdmhéara.
Joseph Mary Plunkett was born in Dublin in 1887 and was the son of a papal count. He was educated by the Jesuits at Belvedere College, Dublin and Stonyhurst College in Lancashire , England. He suffered ill health with TB from a young age and most of his education was with tutors at home.
A gifted writer, he was writing poetry from his teens and published journals before the age of 20. He met Thomas MacDonagh when he was tutored by him in Irish in preparation the UCD matriculation examinations. Their mutual interests, poetry prose, theatre and especially the future of Ireland brought them together and they became close friends.
Plunkett edited the Irish Review, supported Arthur Griffith’s Sinn Féin and took the workers stand in the 1913 Lock –Out. Along with MacDonagh and Edward Martyn, Plunkett also helped to establish the Irish National Theatre.
In 1913 Joseph Mary Plunkett joined the Irish Volunteers and later became a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. During the planning of the Rising, Plunkett was appointed Director of Military. He marched from Liberty Hall with Pearse, Clarke, McDiarmada and Connolly to the GPO on Easter Monday, 24th April, 1916, and was one of the seven signatories to sign the Proclamation of Independence. With Willy Pearse he led the garrison out to their surrender on Friday, 28th April and was marched to Richmond Barracks the following day where he was court-marshalled and sentenced to death.
He married Grace Gifford in Kilmainham Gaol a few hours before his execution on 4th May, 1916. Just before he faced the firing squad he said “I am very happy I am dying for the glory of God and the honour of Ireland”.
Dublin City Council has organised a comprehensive programme to commemorate the 1916 Rising and this programme is continuing in City Council libraries, galleries and local communities all over the city throughout the year. See http://bit.ly/DecadeOfCommemorations for details.