Tralee’s Memorial Hall to be Rededicated to Thomas Ashe

Thomas Ashe - the building which carries his name in Tralee is to be rededicated to him.
Thomas Ashe – the building which carries his name in Tralee is to be rededicated to him.

To mark the centenary year of the death of the Lispole native and Kerry 1916 leader, the Ashe Memorial Hall on Denny Street, Tralee is to be rededicated to Thomas Ashe at a ceremony hosted by Kerry County Council on Monday, May 22-2017 at 11am.

The building, which was first named after the West Kerry man at a meeting of Kerry County Council in May 1928, served as the home of Kerry County Council and Tralee Urban District Council for almost 60 years, and now houses the Kerry County Museum.

Iconic Building

At the ceremony on May 22nd, the iconic building will be rededicated to the memory of Thomas Ashe who died on 25 September 1917 while on hunger strike.

The event will be led by the Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr. Michael O’Shea and members of the Ashe family.

Included will be the patriot’s niece, Eileen Quinn, who will address the gathering.

A colour party from the Irish Defence Forces will be in attendance and a flag-raising ceremony will take place. Actor, Declan McCarthy – who recited Casement’s Speech from the Dock at Banna in April 2016 – will recite Ashe’s poem, ‘Let Me Carry Your Cross for Ireland, Lord.’ Music will be provided by the Tralee Pipe Band. (See the poem below)

Welcome to Attend

Members of the public are welcome to attend the event which will take place on the paved area at the front of the Ashe Memorial Hall.

School groups wishing to attend are asked to contact Kerry County Council’s Arts Office in advance on 066 71 83541.

Those attending are asked to use the Brandon Car Park or other car parks nearby.

Thomas Ashe was born in Kinard, Lispole in 1885 and was a teacher in north County Dublin.

Joined the I.R.B. and Volunteers

He joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Irish Volunteers.

He was commandant of the Fingal Battalion of the Volunteers during the Easter Rising and led his battalion at the Battle of Ashbourne in Co. Meath.

He was the last of the 1916 battalion commanders to surrender, on 29 April 1916. While in prison, he composed the poem, Let Me Carry Your Cross for Ireland, Lord.

On hunger strike in Mountjoy Jail, he was force fed and died hours later, on 25 September 1917.

Let me Carry your Cross for Ireland, Lord
by Thomas Ashe

Let me carry your Cross for Ireland, Lord
The hour of her trial draws near,
And the pangs and the pains of the sacrifice
May be borne by comrades dear.

But, Lord, take me from the offering throng,
There are many far less prepared,
Through anxious and all as they are to die
That Ireland may be spared.

Let me carry your Cross for Ireland, Lord
My cares in this world are few.
And few are the tears will for me fall
When I go on my way to You.

Spare. Oh! Spare to their loved ones dear
The brother and son and sire.
That the cause we love may never die
In the land of our Heart’s desire!

Let me carry your Cross for Ireland, Lord!
Let me suffer the pain and shame
I bow my head to their rage and hate,
And I take on myself the blame.

Let them do with my body whate’er they will,
My spirit I offer to You.
That the faithful few who heard her call
May be spared to Roisin Dubh.

Let me carry your Cross for Ireland, Lord!
For Ireland weak with tears,
For the aged man of the clouded brow,
And the child of tender years;

For the empty homes of her golden plains;
For the hopes of her future, Too!
Let me carry your Cross for Ireland, Lord!
For the cause of Roisin Dubh.


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