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Kilmainham Jail

Príosún Chill Mhaighneann - Kilmainham Jail

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Éirí Amach na Cásca - Easter Rising

At four minutes past noon on Easter Monday, April 24th, 1916, a sudden hush fell over O’Connell Street. From the steps of the General Post Office Patrick Pearse (Pádraig Mac Piarais) read the Proclamation of the Republic.

This is the tragic story of Joseph Mary Plunkett at age 28, patriot, scholar and poet, and Grace Gifford, patriot and artist. Plunkett, the son of a papal count, was a signer of the Declaration of Irish Independence and took part in the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule. He had left his sick bed where he was suffering from terminal glandular tuberculosis. He faced a court martial and was condemned to death by firing squad, but was allowed to marry Grace moments before being executed in Kilmainham Jail. This picture is an unknown artist's rendering at the Ard-Oifig an Phoist i mBaile átha Cliath. This song was recorded by Wolfe Tones in their albums: "1916 Remembered: The Easter Rising" and "Rebels and Heroes."

le Seán Ó hAonaghusa, 2008.
1. Agus sinne le cheile i bpriosun shean Chill Mhaighneain
Is cuimhin liom na seachtaine seo caithté
An mbeidh siad de thuairim gur theip orainn ?
ó laethanta m'oige duirt siad ba cheart duinn bheith ag suil le saoirsé
Ach nil uaim san áit dorcha seo ach tusa anseo i liomsa.

by brothers Frank and Sean O'Meara, 1985
1. As we gather in the chapel here in old Kilmainham Jail
I think about these past few weeks, oh will they say we've failed ?
From our school days they have told us we must yearn for liberty.
Yet all I want in this dark place is to have you here with me.

Curfá:
ó a Ghraiste a ghra, tog i do bha clainn me agus leig don noimeat seo fanuint nios faidé
Beidh me ag fail bhais ag éiri na ghréine
Le ghra mo chroi cuirim an fainne seo ar do mhéar
Ni bheidh am duinn ar ngra a roinneadh le chéile,
Caithfidh sinn slán a fhaghail le cheile.

Chorus:
Oh Grace just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger
They'll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won't be time to share our love so we must say goodbye.

2. Anois, ta fhios mhait agam nach fuirist duit e seo a thuiscint go deó
Mar a graim na fir agus an tir gramhar seó
Agus mar sin, nuair a ghlaoch Padraig orm in Oifig an Phoist thíos
ba duail dom leaba a fhagaint agus dul cuige.

2. Now I know it's hard for you my love to ever understand
The love I bear for these brave men, my love for this dear land
So when Pádraig called me to his side down in the GPO
I had to leave my own sick bed, to him I had to go.

Curfá:
ó a Ghraiste a ghra, tog i do bha clainn me agus leig don noimeat seo fanuint nios faidé
Beidh me ag fail bhais ag éiri na ghréine
Le ghra mo chroi cuirim an fainne seo ar do mhéar
Ni bheidh am duinn ar ngra a roinneadh le chéile,
Caithfidh sinn slán a fhaghail le cheile.

Chorus:
Oh Grace just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger
They'll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won't be time to share our love so we must say goodbye.

3. Anois, agus an grían ag éirí, tá mo chroí briste.
Ar maidin Bhealtaine seo'agus mé ag siúl amach, beidh mé ag smaoineamh ortsa.
Agus scríobhfaidh mé roinnt focal ar an mballa, Go mbeidh fhios ag gach aoinne,
go rabhas an oiread i ngrá leat gurbh fhéidir liom, fuil ar an rós a fheiscint.

3. Now as the dawn is breaking, my heart is breaking too
On this May morn as I walk out, my thoughts will be with you
And I'll write some words upon the wall so everyone will know
I loved so much that I could see the blood upon the rose.

Curfá:
ó a Ghraiste a ghra, tog i do bha clainn me agus leig don noimeat seo fanuint nios faidé
Beidh me ag fail bhais ag éiri na ghréine
Le ghra mo chroi cuirim an fainne seo ar do mhéar
Ni bheidh am duinn ar ngra a roinneadh le chéile,
Caithfidh sinn slán a fhaghail le cheile.

Ní beidh aon am ar grá roinn mar caithfidh muid a rá "beannacht."

Chorus:
Oh Grace just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger
They'll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won't be time to share our love so we must say "goodbye."

Now there won't be time to share our love so we must say "goodbye."

 
madonna and child Madonna and child painted by Grace on her own cell wall years later in Kilmainham jail.

She had rushed out to a Dublin Jeweler who was just closing and asked to buy an expensive wedding ring. They were married by Fr. Eugene McCarthy by the light of a single candle for there was a power outage. Two prison guards were the witnesses. The chapel was lined by twenty British soldiers with bayonnets drawn. Mr. Plunkett's poem, "I See His Blood Upon the Rose" is referenced in the song. This is a powerful and passionate song, one which we place at the top of our list of favorite contemporary pieces. Grace never married again.

military council members An unknown artist's rendering of the Military Council at a meeting lasting till 1 am Easter Sunday. The decision was made to take action on Easter Monday.

Why should a place of suffering, despair and ultimately death be on the list of the top ten sites of Dublin ? The answer is "1916". After the failed Easter Rising the rebel leaders were incarcerated in Kilmainham Gaol, joining a long list of Nationalists held there, from Parnell to Emmet. And more than a dozen men were shot, including James Connolly, famously strapped to his chair. The blood of these "martyrs" (a not unusual description) made Kilmainham Gaol hallowed ground to the Republic of Ireland.
Príosún Chill Mhaighneann (Kilmainham Gaol) is the former prison, and the site of these happenings, located in Kilmainham on Inchicore Road, Dublin 8, and is today a museum.

Courtesy of Jack & Vivian Hennessey, IrishPage.com, August 2008
Grace Gifford Plunkett, Irish patriot, born 4 March 1888.
For phonetics consult the pocket dictionary Fóclóir Póca or Fóclóir Scoile.
Broadband song by the Wolftones
Replay midi sequence: "Grace" by Frank Lennon
Replay mp3 recording: "Grace" by the Wolftones.
Kilmainham tel: +353 1 453 5984, Email: kilmainhamgaol@opw.ie
Bus Route(s): No. 79, 79A, 78A & 51B all from Aston Quay, Dublin 2
3 1/2 km. from Dublin Center


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