Wednesday 13 December 2017

Researchers for a new cultural project on 1916 are on the lookout for those with family links to the Rising.

By amy lewis

A call-out was made for participants.
A call-out was made for participants.
Project organiser, Michael Fortune.
Volunteers from Enniscorthy. Note. Patrick Keegan, back right - grandfather of flute player Niall Keegan, Co-director of Irish World Academy, Limerick.

Wexford musicians with family connections to the 1916 Rising are being urged to get involved in a new cultural project set up by two local researchers.

The traditional music project, known as 'Children of the Revolution', is the brainchild of Wexford couple Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert. With the venture, the pair hope to form a collection of music which will be performed by participants in venues nationwide to mark the centenary of the Rising.

'We aim to promote singers and musicians and highlight the fact that they have link to those people who were so greatly involved in promoting and protecting Irish culture and identity,' said Michael, who is originally from Ballygarrett.

Though the project is a national initiative, several strong links have already been found in County Wexford. Co-director of Irish World Academy, Limerick, Niall Keegan, has volunteered to take part based on his family connection with the Republican movement in Enniscorthy. Widely renowned as a talented flute player, Niall was a welcome addition to the project.

'I'm sure more Wexford links will come to the surface as time goes by,' said Michael.

Children of the Revolution has already attracted great interest and Michael expects more people to come on-board in the coming weeks. Once a group is formed, they will be invited to attend meetings in the National Library, the Irish Traditional Music Academy and the World Academy in Limerick.

'Obviously my heart is always in the locality but it's good to take these artists elsewhere and put them up on a bit of a national platform,' said Michael.

Together with Michael and Aileen, the musicians will examine songs related to 1916 and otherwise, many of which, may not have been delved into before.

'A lot of this stuff wasn't spoken about at the time,' said Michael.

Concerts for 2016 have already been arranged in four counties. However, despite the fact that he thinks it would be an ideal venue, Michael is unsure as of yet whether one will be held in Wexford.

'We would love one to be in Wexford,' he said. 'Hopefully, if sponsorship is secured, we will have one there.'

Children of the Revolution is one of four 1916-related projects that Michael is currently running in the county and beyond. Other projects taking place in Wexford include a 1916 song project, a 1916 walking trail and a film collection.

Wexford People

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