MICHAEL Collins’ armoured car will bring history to life at this weekend’s Knocklong Commemorative Seminar 2015.
The unique annual event, which focuses on the War of Independence, takes place in the community centre on Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16. The vehicle called Sliabh na mBan will tour local villages from 1am on Saturday before returning to the community centre from 1pm to 3pm. The Band of the 1st Brigade (Band of the Southern Command) by permission of the Minister for Defence will play a concert at 8pm.
This seminar commemorates the famous rescue of Seán Hogan, Tipperary volunteer, from police custody at Knocklong railway station on May 13, 1919. As well as a talk on Mr Hogan, six historians, each concentrating on a different county in the province, will speak on the theme of ex-servicemen in Munster during the War of Independence.
Around 200,000 Irishmen fought in the British armed forces during the First World War. Demobilised in 1919, they returned to an Ireland that had undergone a revolution in political outlook, says Joe Moloney, one of the organisers.
“This seminar will afford members of the public an opportunity to learn about this fascinating topic. The expert historians will be John Borgonovo, Seán Hogan, Tim Horgan, Pat McCarthy, Gerard Noonan and Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc,” said Mr Moloney.
The opening session is on Friday at 7.30pm with John Connors giving a talk on Seán Hogan. Two sessions will be held on Saturday, the first beginning at 9.30am, the second at 2pm. Admission is €5.
“Alongside the talks will be a display of War of Independence memorabilia, including documents, flags and weapons. Members of the public attending the event are encouraged to bring along memorabilia and share their stories. Books will be on sale, as will food and refreshments. On Saturday evening, in remembrance of the Rescue at Knocklong, wreaths will be laid at the entrance to the railway station. On both night, events will conclude with music and ballads from the War of Independence period.
“The seminar will educate and inform the public on an enthralling aspect of their history during this the Decade of Commemorations,” said Mr Moloney. A family fun day takes place on Sunday at 2pm. For full details log onto www.knocklong.net