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Ballagh print of iconic Fenian funeral scene to be launched

Copies of the artwork by Robert Ballagh are being sold to help fund restoration work of the 1916 Plot in Glasvnevin Cemetery

A PRINT depicting an iconic scene from the funeral of Fenian leader Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa is to be officially launched on the centenary of the historic event.

Renowned artist Robert Ballagh has created the original artwork, inspired by a well-known photograph of crowds gathered at O'Donovan Rossa's graveside at Glasnevin Cemetery on August 1 1915.

The National Graves Association (NGA) which maintains republican graves and monuments across Ireland, is selling 175 copies of Ballagh's print for €295 each.

Money raised will be used to fund continuing restoration work on the 1916 Plot in the St Paul's section of Glasnevin, which will be officially unveiled on the centenary of the Easter Rising.

NGA spokesman Matt Doyle said that Ballagh would launch his new print and make a speech at 5.30pm on Saturday in Glasvnevin Museum.

Mr Doyle said large crowds are expected to attend a series of NGA events to mark the funeral centenary, with buses travelling from Belfast, Newry and Tyrone.

The NGA will also unveil two bronze plaques on O'Donovan Rossa Bridge in Dublin at 3pm on Saturday, with the gathering addressed by historian Dr Shane Kenna, author of the new book ‘Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa: Unrepentant Fenian'.

Participants will then conduct a wreath-laying ceremony and re-enactment of Padraig Pearse's iconic oration at O'Donovan Rossa's grave.

“We are a non-political group and we would encourage people to attend the events,” said Mr Doyle.

Meanwhile, former Fianna Fáil government minister, Eamon O Cuiv, grandson of Eamon De Valera, will tonight launch Dr Kenna's O'Donovan Rossa biography at 6.30pm at Glasnevin Museum.

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