Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dublin Ógra commemorate Asgard landing at Howth

Dublin Ógra Shinn Féin activists travelled to Howth on Saturday to take part in a day of activities to commemorate the Howth gun-running of 1914.

The significant milestone in Irish history was in response to the arming of the Ulster Volunteers. The weapons, from Hamburg in Germany were to be used to to arm the Irish Volunteers in the run up to the 1916 rising. Nine hundred Mauser rifles 29,000 rounds of ammunition were to prove pivotal in the events of Easter Week.

Dublin Ógra activists from across the county arrived in Howth in the afternoon. Donning replica Irish Volunteers uniforms, they distributed leaflets in English, Irish, Spanish and Polish to the many locals and tourists who had gathered to watch the commemoration take place. After the distribution of thousands of leaflets and the arrival of the Dublin Republican Flute Band, the crowd marched along the East Pier in Howth to the very spot where the Asgard unloaded the arsenal of German weapons on the 26th July, 1914.
The Irish Volunteers were founded after the Tory Party in England joined with the Unionists in North-East Ireland in an armed conspiracy to prevent legislative Home Rule for Ireland. When the First World War broke out at the time of the Howth gun-running Home Rule was postponed.

The skipper of the Asgard was Erskine Childers who later worked for Dáil Éireann and took part in the Treaty negotiations in 1921. He opposed the Treaty and the Partition of Ireland and was executed in 1922 by the Free State government during the Irish Civil War.
When the guns were landed on that day in 1914 they were taken back to Dublin City by the Irish Volunteers. The British Army fired on a crowd of civilians in the city, killing three of them. Every year Ógra Sinn Féin in Dublin commemorates the Asgard landing in celebration of the spirit of Irish freedom, in support of the demand for Irish unity and in remembrance of those who died.

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