The Centenary edition of Cathair na Mart – Annual Journal of Westport Historical Society is now available. Price €10. Order your copy now from the Clew Bay Heritage Centre, +353(0)98 26832, or www.westportheritage.com
Although the 1916 Rising did not take place in Mayo its occurrence had major consequences there. Westport native Major John MacBride was executed for his part in the Dublin Rising. The lives of Dr.Kathleen Lynn and Elizabeth Bloxham were profoundly affected. Local Volunteers were interned in the aftermath and the seeds of the War of Independence were sown.
By 1916 Westport was a well-established battalion in the Mayo Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Westport was given Battalion status and the various outlying companies became attached to the battalion. Natural leaders were now coming to the fore and a patriotic ethos was emerging. Names such as Ring, Derrig, Malone, Kitterick, Gibbons, Duffy and Hughes were soon to make their mark in subsequent events.
Meanwhile, much was happening in the outside world. Men from Mayo were fighting and dying in France. Across the Atlantic a son of Mayo was fighting for the World Heavyweight Championship.