When Kevin Barry was executed, on November 1st, 1920, he had packed a lot of living into his eighteen years on this earth. From his own comments and letters, from comments of family and friends, we know that he played rugby and hurling, he loved dancing, he enjoyed the company of his friends, male and female and the camaraderie of sing-songs.

He had a promising medical career before him, as well as potential for a political career. So, why did he, gladly, give it all away and sacrifice such a full and promising life for Ireland? 

Kevin Barry and the Oral Tradition examines that influences that moulded his character, gave him the principles and the physical and moral courage to engage in conflict with the forces of the British empire, and, to sacrifice his life and his future for those same principles.

Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council, Cllr. Tom O’Neill stated: “It is vitally important to recognise the part Kevin Barry played in the history of our county and country and I wish to acknowledge the work of all those involved in this Centenary project delivered in spite of the current demanding circumstances.”

The focus for the Carlow County Council Decade of Centenaries Programme 2020 is on Kevin Barry who was executed 100 years ago this coming November 1st. The main event is Kevin Barry and the Oral Tradition which has been a year in the making. A Carlow story told by Carlow people, the event will outline the various influences on Kevin as a young boy growing up in Tombeagh, Rathvilly with particular emphasis on the songs and stories which shaped his views and principles.

Speaking as Cathaoirleach of the Carlow County Council Centenaries Committee, Cllr. Charlie Murphy stated: “Over the last number of years Carlow County Council have represented the Decade of Centenaries through thoughtful, respectful and appropriate programmes where the events of that period of Irish and Carlow history are acknowledged and commemorated in a considered fashion.”

Filmed in VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art and GB Shaw Theatre, Carlow Central Library and the Barry household, the feature will provide for a fitting remembrance of and reflection on a young man who went to his death at a time of great difficulty for this country.

Kevin Barry and the Oral Tradition is complimented by three other events which will also be delivered online during the first week of November.

–      Kevin Barry: a conversation with Professor Eunan O’Halpin hosted by Carlow County Museum on November 2nd at 8pm

–      An Irish Hero for Children with Carmel Uí Cheallaigh and Rathvilly NS on November 3rd at 12pm

–      A Memoir of Kevin Barry with Síofra O’Donovan and Michael Moriarty hosted by Carlow County Council Library Service on November 4th at 8pm

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, all events are being pre-recorded and will be broadcast online through the Carlow County Library YouTube Channel and circulated through social media. All information on upcoming events are available at: http://www.carlowlibraries.ie/events

YouTube Link: https://youtube.com/user/carlowcountylibrary

Leave a Reply