Reportage: Rise Up Irish!

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Irish in Hong Kong commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Uprising in songs and poems throughout the year.


Irish Consul General Peter Ryan (Paedar Ó Riain, Árd Chonsal) kick-started a series of activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Uprising yesterday evening in the Consulate office on Des Voeux Road. The armed insurrection broke out in April 1916 which ultimately resulted in the independence of Ireland from the then British Empire.

The commemoration event started with a short history lecture delivered by Mr Ryan on some lesser known facts about the uprising. The night was then packed with speeches, poems and songs performed by Mr Ryan’s fellow Irish to pay tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for their freedom.

Performances were conducted in English, Irish Gaelic, and included a recital of William Butler Yeats’ poem, Easter 1916, in Putonghua. Prof. Peter Kennedy of Hong Kong University deconstructed and recited the poem before the Chinese version.

Vice Consul Caitriona O’Sullivan (Catríona Ní Shúileabháin) also joined the list of performers and moved the audience with her heartfelt rendition of Roger Casement by Irish poet Eva Gore-Booth.

Mr Ryan also announced their first ever commemoration event to be held in Macau on February 18 alongside four events to follow leading up to Easter.

Noel Smyth and the Delaney’s team updated their impressive food and beverage including a selection of Irish beers from Eight Degrees Brewing Company and a special hot toddy, artfully presented and made with Irish Whiskey, lemon, cloves and secret ingredients.