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Launch of book 16 DEAD MEN: THE EASTER RISING EXECUTIONS in Pres Waterford

The official launch of the recently published book 16 DEAD MEN: THE EASTER RISING EXECUTIONS, took place on Friday, 26th September last in the Presentation Secondary School, Cannon Street, Waterford.

‘16 Dead Men’ is by local author Anne-Marie Ryan pictured on right speaking at the launch and tells the stories of the sixteen deaths that changed the course of Irish history and set in train the events that would lead to the creation of an independent Ireland. South-east correspondent Damien Tiernan launched the book to an assembled audience of over 200.

In her book, Ryan describes the sixteen men who were willing to risk so much for their beliefs. Teachers, clerks, trade unionists, a shopkeeper and a farmer, the executed leaders of the Easter Rising were a diverse group from different backgrounds, who arrived at the point of insurrection in a variety of ways. Some were lifelong rebels, others came late to the cause, but all had the same dream of an independent Ireland in the aftermath of the Easter Rising of 1916.

Anne-Marie Ryan noted in her speech that the Presentation Secondary School was an appropriate venue for the launch of a book on the Easter Rising, given that Patrick Pearse had visited the school in 1914 to judge an Irish dancing competition.

She said: ‘Pearse must have been taken with the city, as he returned in February 1916 to address an audience in City Hall, who came to listen to him speak about his recently published pamphlet The Spiritual Nation. Just two months later, Pearse was executed at Kilmainham Gaol for his leadership of the Easter Rising. His receipt for his hotel stay in Waterford was found among his remaining possessions at his home in Rathfarnham and is currently on display at the Waterford Museum of Treasures.’

Damien Tiernan spoke at length at the launch on the contents of the book, noting the research that underpinned the published story. He commented that the book was written in a simple and accessible style, with human interest stories that brought out the essence of each of the personalities. He explained how the author explores the lives of these men and recounts the events that brought each of them to rebellion in April 1916. Their sacrifice would, as W.B. Yeats wrote, ‘stir the boiling pot’ and provide the inspiration for the subsequent revolution in Ireland.

Anne-Marie Ryan is a native of Passage East in Co. Waterford. She is the daughter of Kevin Ryan, a lecturer in WIT and Mary Ryan, principal of the Presentation Secondary School. She has worked as an archivist and researcher at Kilmainham Gaol Museum and the Pearse Museum in Dublin. As an undergraduate she studied History and English in TCD and received her Master’s Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester. She is currently a secondary school teacher.

Pictured above are Damien Tiernan, Ann-Marie Ryan and Head Girl Niamh Browne at the book launch.

Pictured above are Kevin Ryan, Mary Ryan, School Principal, Ann-Marie Ryan and Damien Tiernan.