Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Arts & Heritage Niamh Smyth had the honour of taking on the role of Countess Markievicz during the party’s National 1916 Commemoration, which was held in the Mansion House in Dublin this week.
The event also marked the 90th anniversary of the party’s foundation. Deputy Smyth commented, “This commemoration was the centrepiece in a series of events organised by Fianna Fáil to mark the 1916 Easter Rising. It brought together history, music, spoken word and an element of theatre. More than 600 people came to the Mansion House to not only remember the events of 1916 but to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Fianna Fáil party.
“Almost all of the founding members of Fianna Fáil participated in the Rising. Constance Markievicz, a leader of the Citizens’ Army was the Chair of the inaugural meeting, which was held in LaScala Theatre in Dublin. Shaping the programme was Seán Lemass, who had fought in the GPO when still only 16 years old. Men and women of all ranks were present – including the closest surviving relatives of Pádraig Pearse and Thomas Clarke.
“As part of the programme, there was a recreation of the inaugural meeting of Fianna Fáil, in which I had the honour of playing the role of Countess Markievicz. There was also music from Caitríona Ní Cheannabháin, Seo Linn and St John’s Brass Band.
“This was a very special event, which commemorated those who took part in the 1916 Easter Rising, and celebrated 90 years of the Fianna Fáil movement. It was a great privilege to be part of something, which inspired as well as informed and which paid tribute to the people who fought for the ideals of the Proclamation, and who continue to do so today”.