Battle of Enniscorthy revisited

Scene from the re-enacted Battle of Enniscorthy at Castle Hill today.

By Dan Walsh at the Battle of Enniscorthy

Shots rang out on Castle Hill this morning as the Battle of Enniscorthy was re-enacted exactly a century after the event – July 2nd 1922 – and descendants of some families involved were present to witness the historic commemoration which was the highlight of the Wexford Library Arts Festival taking place this weekend.

CLLR CATHAL BYRNE hands over the chains of office to the new Cathaoirleach of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council CLLR AIDAN BROWNE today.

Aside from the re-enactment which featured members of Enniscorthy Re-enactment Historical Society and Lord Edwards Own with action emanating from Enniscorthy Castle pouring out onto the street, there were a number of speeches. Historian Barry Lacey acted as narrator and Maria Nolan was master of ceremonies.

Enniscorthy Municipal District’s Cllr Aidan Browne, who took over the chains of Cathaoirleach from Cllr Cathal Byrne, last Monday, welcomed the guests and the good sized attendance on the street, and offered some sobering words about the battle of a century ago.

Deputy Sean Haughey, grandson of former Taoiseach Sean Lemass, was the keynote speaker, while there were also contributions from Minister James Browne, Carmel Smyth, author of ‘Monteith-The Making of a Rebel and representative of the 1916 Relatives Committee.

COLM O’BRIEN and ORLA McKEOWN, relatives, laid wreaths at Enniscorthy Post Office in remembrance of Patrick O’Brien and Maurice Spillane who were shot dead on this spot in 1922.

Guests included Paul Kehoe T.D., Cllr George Lawlor, Cathaoirleach Wexford County Council, Cllrs Barbara-Anne Murphy, Kathleen Codd-Nolan, Jackser Owens, John O’Rourke and Cathal Byrne. Anne Gilpin and Carmel Long represented the Literary Festival Committee, Bernie Quigley, Enniscorthy District Council and the Council staff were also praised for their co-operation and encouragement in the staging of this novel event.

Rev. Canon Nicola Halford read a prayer; Liam Doyle played a piper’s lament; Maria Nolan read a prose extract and the pleasant ceremony concluded with the National Anthem.

Afterwards the re-enactors marched to the Post Office where Colm O’Brien and Orla McKeown laid wreaths at the site where Patrick (Paddy) O’Brien and Maurice Spilanne were shot during the Battle of Enniscorthy in 1922. Their memory is preserved by a plaque on the Post Office wall.

AUDIO ADDITION – Cathaoirleach Cllr Aidan Browne set s the scene for the Battle of Enniscorthy this morning.

AUDIO ADDITION ; Historian and narrator BARRY LACEY in an extract from the Battle of Enniscorthy this morning.
AUDIO ADDITION – How the Battle of Enniscorthy came to an end

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