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Minister Heather Humphreys Announces Arrangements for Commemoration of Asgard landing of arms at Howth and Bachelors Walk event

The official commemoration of the centenary of the landing of arms on 26TH July 1914 from the yacht Asgard at Howth and the subsequent loss of life at Bachelors Walk will take place on Sunday July 27th.

Descendants and relatives of the key participants will be guests of honour at these events. Members of the public are invited to attend.

Outline programme below:-

9.00am Glasnevin Cemetery: Wreath-laying ceremony led by Ms. Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, in memory of the 4 members of the public shot at Bachelors Walk and buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

10.00am Pro-Cathedral, Dublin: Mass in memory of the Bachelors Walk shooting victims attended by President Michael D. Higgins;

11.30am East Pier Howth: Official commemoration ceremony at Howth harbour led by President Michael D. Higgins with participation by Ms. Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Defence Forces. Ceremony to include address by President Higgins, and will conclude with wreath-laying and ceremonial activities.

1.00pm A re-enactment, arranged by the ASGARD 100 Community Group of the landing of arms featuring a replica of the yacht ASGARD and a flotilla of boats will be observed by President Higgins. Local volunteers from the Howth GAA club and marching volunteers from Dublin will unload and leave the Pier with the consignment.

Historical context to the events of 26th July 1914 will be provided by members of the ASGARD 100 group throughout the proceedings.

1.30pm President Higgins will view the ASGARD replica dinghy constructed by the ASGARD 100 group and presented to the National Museum of Ireland.

The Community element of the commemoration will continue after 2PM with a cultural programme featuring Brian Begley, Ceoltóirí Chluain Tarbh and St, Brigid’s Pipe Band from Howth. This event is free and open to the public – visitors are encouraged to attend in period costume. Prizes will be presented to the best period dressed individual male or female, family and boat crew. The programme will conclude at 4pm.

Speaking at the presentation of the replica dinghy crafted by the Asgard 100 community group to the National Museum of Ireland, Minister Humphreys said: "I am very grateful to the volunteers of Howth for their generosity in giving their time and expertise to assist us to commemorate this important event in our history. There is no doubt that the landing of arms in Howth was a significant milestone along the road to Easter 1916 and I am delighted to support arrangements to mark this centenary in an appropriate way."

Note for Editors:

On 26 July 1914, Erskine Childers' yacht, ASGARD, arrived at Howth Pier, north of Dublin. The yacht contained 900 rifles and 19,000 rounds of ammunition, purchased in Hamburg with funds raised by senior figures involved in the Irish Volunteers, most notably Alice Stopford Green and Roger Casement. The gun-running was prompted by the larger gun-running expedition carried out by the Ulster Volunteer Force at Larne the previous April. The weapons were unloaded at Howth by members of the Irish Volunteers and Na Fianna Éireann; a smaller cargo of weapons was landed at Kilcoole, County Wicklow, a few days later. As the weapons were being brought back to the city, an abortive attempt to seize them was made by members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the King’s Own Scottish Borderers; the latter, when returning to the Royal Barracks (now Collins Barracks) later that day, opened fire on a hostile but unarmed crowd at Bachelors Walk on the Dublin quays, killing three* civilians and injuring another 80; a fourth victim died later**. Most of the weapons landed were not seized, and were later used in the Easter Rising of 1916.

The Asgard volunteer group has been engaged for some time in preparing to mark this seminal event of the landing of arms at Howth, and the associated nautical and historical legacies. Arising from this work the group on their own initiative and without public funds, have built a replica of the dinghy used by the ASGARD. It will feature in the proceedings at Howth harbour on 27 July and will ultimately be placed with the restored ASGARD in the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks.

Bachelors Walk.

*The three dead were 50-year-old Mary Duffy, 50-year-old Patrick Quinn and 18-year-old James Brennan. **A fourth Sylvester Pidgeon, the last fatal victim of Bachelors Walk died of his wounds on September 25th.