About Us

Who we are

The 1916 Relatives Association is a membership organisation of the relatives of those who fought for Irish Freedom in the Easter Rising in 1916. We were founded in June 2014 in preparation for the Centenary of the Rising to ensure our full participation in the Governments plan for the anniversary and to ensure that the voices of relatives are heard in relation to the commemorative legacy of 1916 now and into the future.

In 2017, the association has almost 3,000 members.

The main aims of the association are as follows:

  • To commemorate the men and women who participated in the fight for Irish freedom in the 1916 Easter Rising
  • To inform relatives about the events of 1916 Easter Rising and all commemorative events
  • To support, facilitate and encourage the participation of relatives and the general public in all commemorative activities and initiatives across the Island of Ireland.
  • To promote wider historical understanding of the 1916 Easter Rising participants and events
  • To create a commemoration legacy for future generations and to protect, mark and preserve the heritage of the 1916 Easter Rising
  • To ensure that the Irish State will always commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising in a manner befitting its importance as a seminal event in Irish history;
  • To pursue the association objectives by non-party political means;
  • To highlight the role our relatives played in Ireland’s revolutionary period including the War of Independence and to ensure that their contribution is appropriately recognized in State Commemorations.

What we do

At the national level, the association works to implement its aims which were agreed by members at its founding meetings. These activities include holding commemorative events to honour our relatives who fought and died in the Easter Rising, influencing Government policy in relation to the memory and legacy of 1916, working with other stakeholders on issues such as the campaign to protect and preserve the historic Moore Street area of Dublin which was the final battlefield of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The Association encourages and supports its members to join its Garrison Groups who meet together and participate in activities planned by themselves around the garrisons where their relatives fought and died. These are local structures through which our Garrison Groups can network with local schools and community organisations.

There were seven garrisons, named below, in Dublin during the 1916 Rising. Revolutionary activity also occurred at the same time in several areas across the country such as Fingal, Enniscorthy, Athenry and Co. Laois, amongst others.

  • Boland’s Mills and Outposts Garrison
  • Four Courts Garrison
  • GPO Garrison
  • Jacob’s Factory Garrison
  • Mendicity Institution Garrison
  • South Dublin Union, Marrowbone Lane Garrisons and Outposts
  • St Stephen’s Green/RCSI Garrison

Executive Committee for The 1916 Relatives Association

The Committee was elected at the 2021 AGM.

  • Carmel Smyth (Chairperson)
  • Brian O’ Neill   (Secretary)
  • Tadgh Crowley (Treasurer)
  • Úna MacNulty (Members Registrar)
  • Nial Ring
  • Michael Impey
  • Brenda O Neill
  • Michael Reynolds