SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, the 1916 Irish rebellion against British rule, is being commemorated in Springfield over the next couple months. The story of the uprising, and its connection to western Massachusetts, will be on display at a lengthy exhibit at the Wood Museum of Springfield History.
On Friday, Congressman Richard Neal, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, and other local officials gathered at the museum to announce the local commemoration of this major world event, which had significant local connections.
The uprising- the most significant in Ireland in more than 100 years- was put down, but the Irish War of Independence began the following year, with the Irish Free State being formed in 1921. Many people who were involved in the 1916 insurrection left Ireland as wanted men, and immigrated to Springfield.
A series of events, including flag raisings, film screenings, and memorial Masses are being held through May in commemoration of the Easter Rising. A first-of-its-kind remembrance garden is currently under construction at Forest Park in Springfield. That will be dedicated on May 15.