Published On: Tue, Mar 1st, 2016 at 1:27pm

‘Gal Gréine’ banner to go on display today

This afternoon at 3 p.m. an tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh welcomes the latest addition to the 1916 Centenary Commemorations Exhibition in City Hall, Dublin 2. The ‘Gal Gréine’ banner, owned by Countess Markievicz during the Rising of 1916, goes on public display by kind permission of the Royal Collection Trust.

The banner of Na Fianna Éireann, known as the ‘Gal Gréine’ (Sunburst) was seized by the British Army, as a war trophy, from the home of Countess Markievicz in May 1916. The banner became the property of the Royal Collection Trust at Windsor Castle and was loaned to the British Imperial War Museum in 1936. Dublin City Council passed a resolution in 2009 seeking a loan of the banner. In late 2014, the Council’s Office for International Relations commenced negotiations which have resulted in the loan being agreed as an element within the 1916 Centenary Celebrations.

The Royal Collection Trust are also loaning items in this Centenary Year to the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Museum at Collins Barracks. The loan to the National Gallery is a touring exhibition of Leondardo Da Vinci drawings. The National Gallery is one of four Museums/Galleries across Britain and Ireland which will host this touring exhibition.

An tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh said, “Tá mé thar a bheith sásta An Gal Gréine a fháiltiú ar ais chuig Baile Átha Cliath. I am delighted to formally welcome the ‘Gal Gréine’ back to Dublin. It is very appropriate that this historical artifact forms part of the 1916 Exhibition in City Hall. The banner was the property of Countess Markievicz who played a key leadership role in the foundation of the Irish Republic. I want to thank the Royal Collection Trust for facilitating our request for the loan of the banner for this exhibition.”

The 1916 Exhibition will also contain an original copy of the Proclamation – one of only 30 in existence.

An tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhalaigh added “I would like to thank the family of Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell for presenting Dublin City Council with her original copy of the Proclamation which is now on permanent display here in City Hall. Nurse O’Farrell played a major part in the Rising and was garrisoned in the GPO with Pádraig Pearse, accompanying him when the surrender was presented to General Lowe. Molaim díobh an deis a thapú agus cuairt a thabhairt ar an Taispeántas 1916 i Hall na Cathrach, chun na hiarsmaí seo a thugann léiriú dúinn ar thréimhse thábhachtach i stair na cathrach seo. I encourage people to take this opportunity to visit the 1916 Exhibition in City Hall to view these artifacts which reflect an important period in the life of this city.”

The support of the British Ambassador, Dominic Chilcott, and the Director of the British War Museum are acknowledged in securing the loan of the ‘Gal Gréine’ from the Royal Collection Trust.

The ‘Gal Gréine’ banner and the Proclamation will be on public display for viewing, free of charge, from 1st March, 2016 until the end of August 2016 in the Exhibition Centre, City Hall, Dublin 2.

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