County Derry Centenaries Group last week hosted Dr John Callow, a distinguished scholar, TV presenter and someone who plays an important role as an educator in the British trade union movement as part of their series of events to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising.
Dr Callow gave an important talk on the subject of ‘PHOENIX RISING: James Connolly and The Re-Conquest of Ireland’ at St. Colm’s High School, Ballinascreen on Thursday night to a large audience comprised of many people working in our local community and voluntary organisations.
The interesting and engaging commemorative event included pageantry involving historical characters from the ‘Irish Citizen Army’ as well as poetry reading by young local woman, Claire Sheerin who so eloquently read WB Yeates’ September 1913 when setting the scene for the road taken by Connolly’s army in the run up to The Rising.
Speaking after the event, the organising group’s event manager, Paul Henry said: “ It was our pleasure to be able to host this event which explored John’s important discovery of the lost archives of Ireland foremost revolutionary socialist thinker, trade union organiser and 1916 leader, James Connolly, when working in The Marx Library, London.”
Dr Callow’s contribution to the writing of Ireland’s working class history was described as “immense”.
The event organiser hailed the successful gathering as a “celebration of the strong collaboration and forging of a close working partnership between County Derry Centenaries Group and the newly established Mid-Ulster District Council regarding the ‘revolutionary years’ now that we are in the Decade of Centenaries.
“Our group and in turn local communities are benefiting from small amounts of funding which help assist with important events such as Dr Callow’s talk.
“Council officials, especially those involved with Good Relations and Community Development sections have been very helpful with the roll out of our programme.
“Dr Callow’s most informative talk attracted a large audience of local people who are interested in the history of Ireland’s revolutionary decade and the lessons for Irish society today.
“The audience was diverse in its make-up and was representative of all sections of our local community.”