Easter Rising

Dramas in Belfast and Tyrone to examine role of north in 1916 Rising

The cast of the Patrician Players in Carrickmore ahead of a play about the Easter Rising to be staged on Sunday April24
John Monaghan

Plays looking at the role of parts of the north in the 1916 Rising are to be staged in Belfast and Tyrone as the calendar centenary approaches.

The Short Strand area of east Belfast will host the first drama this Sunday afternoon, exploring the lives of former residents connected to the historic events in Dublin 100 years ago.

Organised by Kabosh and Ag Fìorú na Poblachta, the outdoor performance will begin in Mountforde Park at 2.30pm.

Spectators will be able to rotate between four separate plays featuring costumed actors and singers.

Several well-known actors, including Antoinette Morelli, Stephen Beggs and Gerard McCabe, will take part in the dramatisation.

Anyone wishing to attend the free performances are asked to book tickets from Doyle Youth Centre or St Matthew's Social Club.

The following weekend, in Carrickmore, Co Tyrone, a play and exhibition will examine the diaries of a witness to the events in 1916 and the links of two organisers of the Rising to the village.

The free exhibition showing photographs and items from the time will be held in the Patrician Centre on Saturday and Sunday April 23 and 24 from 1pm to 5pm.

It will focus on Joseph McGarrity and Patrick McCartan, two republicans from the Carrickmore area who were involved in preparations for the Rising.

Joseph McGarrity, who emigrated to the US, was instrumental in raising funds in Irish-America and was the leader of Clann na Gael in Philadelphia.

Patrick McCartan, a close associate of Eoin MacNeill, was interned in an open prison in England for his part in the Rising.

Mr McCartan was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and had been due to take part in the rebellion with the Tyrone branch of the Irish Volunteers before a counter-order issued by Eoin MacNeill.

On April 24 at 8pm, the Patrician Players will also host a performance based on the diaries of James Stephens, a poet and novelist who was a witness to the Rising.

Diarmuid McGurk, from the Patrician Centre, said: "The exhibition focuses on the local events that took place up to and including Easter week of 1916 in Carrickmore. It's about showing that the Rising wasn't all Dublin based.

"As well as looking at the two famous sons of Carrickmore in Joseph McGarrity and Patrick McCartan, it will focus on some of the local volunteers that were involved, where the training and mobilisation took place and the aftermath of Easter week locally.

"Some local items that relate to the Rising, that have never been seen publicly before, will also be on show. There will be multi-media presentations and video archive footage."

Mr McGurk added: "As we were researching the Rising connections to Carrickmore we also came across members of the British ascendency such as Major Alexander. He lived in Carrickmore, was a horse guard in Omagh and fought in the First World War."

Tickets cost £8 and can be booked at the Patrician Centre.

Easter Rising

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