The art (pun intended) of involving the youth in remembering republican icons, and what they stood for, is a hard task and one we have toyed with how to approach it. After much thought we decided to do so along the arts route, taking inspiration from the project of the 1916 Society in Ardoyne, where they completed a mural to Pádraig Pearse with an image projected onto a wall.
So last Wednesday we commenced a mural project in the Kilbarrack Youth Project, utilising the talent of a republican-minded artist and the local youths from the area. We have a 1916 Society based in the area and chairperson Conor Lenihan, a lifelong resident from the Kilbarrack area, was able to make sure the project happened. His young sister was one of those who helped with the mural so it was very much a family affair for him.
The simple images of each of the seven signatories was to be accompanied with a direct quote from the Proclamation, and seeing as this was something to be seen daily in a youth project it was a no-brainer the immortal promise to ‘cherish all the children of the nation equally’ was chosen to accompany the imagery. The project was extremely fun to be a part of, the kids enthusiasm was infectious to say the least and they took time to learn about 1916, an important aspect of any project involving young people.
The mural took just four hours to complete – we had plenty of little helping hands that made it light work for us all. The youth worker in the centre, Niall, who has an obvious affinity for the youngsters, and they for him, commented about the atmosphere in the room as the kids had an infectious enthusiasm, mixed with 1916 Societies members for whom it’s fair to say this was a labour of love for varying reasons.
Since the pictures were published on our various social media outlets we have had other community groups, and even a Tidy Towns, offer us the opportunity to do a similar mural in their area, which is fantastic for us as we want not only to commemorate the event itself but more importantly to commemorate what it stood for. We can do that by involving ourselves fully in these community projects.
Speaking to 1916societies.com, Conor Lenihan – Chair of the Cathal Brugha Society in Kilbarrack – had this to say:
Being a member of this youthclub for many years when I was younger it was a great feeling to be part of this project, with something so close to my own heart and to work with the youth of the area and dedicated and hard-working leaders of the Kilbarrack Youth Club – who are an absolute credit to this community. Ourselves in the 1916 Societies here in Dublin hope to move forward from this and see this as the start of working with other community groups across Dublin, in helping them to commemorate the men and women of the Rising and what they fought and died for.
Anyone hoping to get involved with the 1916 Societies in the south Dublin area can reach the Cathal Brugha Society through Facebook. Alternatively get in contact with us directly through this site.