A belated happy Lá Lúghnasa to one and all as we celebrate the traditional harvest festival marking the commencement of the third quarter of the year in the indigenous calendars of Ireland and the Gaelic world. Unfortunately my day has as been consumed with rather more contemporary work, leaving me little time for festivities. However it’s pleasing to note that this date also marks the one hundredth commemoration of the funeral of the influential Irish revolutionary leader Diarmaid Ó Donnabháin Rossa (Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa). The last of the original generation of Irish-born Fenians he died in the city of New York on June 29 1915, at the ripe age of 83, and was buried with republican honours at Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin, on August the 1st 1915. His highly publicised funeral is regarded by most historians as heralding the revolution that would follow nine months later (that “nine” being another symbolically pleasing Irish and Gaelic characteristic) and today the capital saw official ceremonies attended by the Uachtarán, Taoiseach and the great and the good of politics, the military, the arts and the media. Ó Donnabháin Rossa has made a long journey from being Victorian Britain’s “number one terrorist” to modern Ireland’s icon of patriotism.
You can read more on the truest of our Fenian dead here.