1916 Our Rising, 2016 Your Rising? Proud to be Irish or Want to Be?

By Tadgh O’Cobhfaigh

My Rising is happening right now. For I decided to use my name in Irish to show respect to those who died and were wounded in Ireland’s Rising for freedom.

So how will you show your gratitude for what they sacrificed for you?

Inspired by their sacrifice or a bit of “Strumpet City” reading from Mr.Plunkett’s vivid account of Dublin or simply getting older! I came to the conclusion that a simple and effective way for me to remember what they did. After all, how do you meaningfully respect the heroes of 1916 that is meaningful to yourself? With many large events planned by the government next year and some relatives complaining of the nature of them perhaps respect is not so common from certain quarters. Civil servants perhaps will look on this as an overtime bonanza rather than on the occasions themselves.

This idea took me months to get used to, to simply change my name to Irish and for others to get used to it; including my mother. Thinking long and hard how do you honour personally these men and women whom made themselves ready to change an imperialist dominated country. And so my personal way is to change my name to the Irish version.

Myself and Irish got off to a bad start in school even though beyond this gesture Irish would not interest me at all.

Yes, saying my own name in Irish was strange at first. Most people don’t care except for when they have known you previously. From Tim to Tadgh from Coffey to O’Cobhfaigh and all this! Change is difficult, after all, look at what they did.

Their sacrifice gave me back, what should have been mine since 1177: my culture, heritage and name among my own folk in my own land. So how will you show your gratitude for what they sacrificed for you? What will you do to make their sacrifice meaningful?


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