15 October 1998 Edition
Dublin remembers `98
Spectacular march of pike men and women through the streets of Dublin
BY CIARAN HEAPHEY
Some 1,500 pike men and women marched in bright sunshine in the centre of Dublin last Saturday to remember the men and women of 1798 and the events that took place in the capital during that revolutionary period.
Most of the pike people hailed from the counties most prominent during the period: Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, Laois, Leitrim, Meath, Down; each contingent proudly displaying their own local banners and emblems.
The march/rally was organised by the Dublin `98 Committee and was a fine tribute to the Unitedmen and a fitting closure to the year's various activities around the 32 Counties in honour of the 1798 United Irish Rebellion.
Beginning at the Garden of Remembrance the good-humoured and buoyant pike people and ensuing crowd made their way down O'Connell Street and past the GPO on up D'Olier Street. ``In memory of our own,'' read one colourful banner as the pike people wound its way down O'Connell Street
The march passed all the historical sites of the period: Trinity College where Tone, Emmet and other United leaders were struck from the records; Gratten's Parliament on College Green; past Dame Street, with its side streets where the first meetings of the United Irish Societies in Dublin took place; Dublin Castle, the seat of British power and mis-rule in Ireland for many years; down through Dublin's Liberties, where many of the United national and local leaders came from and survived after going on the run, including Thomas Russell and Robert Emmet; St Catherine's Church in Thomas Street where Emmet was hung, drawn and quartered in 1803; across the Liffey to Croppies Acre, the site of many a mass grave of the insurgent dead; up the Quays past the site of the original assembly point for the Dublin rising, Smithfield, and making its way back into O'Connell Street for the orations.
Chair of the Dublin `98 Committee Richard Roche and John Gray of the Belfast `98 Committee and Director of the Linenhall Library in Belfast were the main orators.
Richard Roche thanked all the marchers who travelled from all over the country and also expressed the wish that an annual march be held to commemorate 1798, either at Croppies Acre, Bodenstown or Vinegar Hill. Roche also rounded on the media, especially RTÉ, for ignoring the vast majority of the events organised throughout the country in this bi-centennial year.
Proceedings finished with a rousing rendition of the `98 ballad Boolavogue, and the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann.