Thursday 2 March 2017

The 1916 Centenary Commemorative Medal

Recently an unexpected package arrived by mail from the Irish Defence Force HQ in County Kildare. The package contained a sample 1916 Centenary Commemorative Medal, one of a type presented by President Michael D. Higgins to all members of the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps to mark the fact that the Defence Forces had played such a prominent role in the commemorations to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

The medal has a familiar look to it, which is intentional according to documentation that was included in the package. It explains that, as the Defence Forces trace their origins to the foundation of the Irish Volunteers in November 1913, the medal was designed to reflect the tradition of the original 1916 medal but was made respectfully different in deference to the men and women of 1916 to whom the original medal was awarded.

The documentation also explains that because of the prominent role played by the Defence Forces at local authority level during the commemorations, it is considered appropriate to provide local authority museums with a sample for our collections.

We at Clare Museum would like to thank the Defence Forces for their generosity. The medal is a welcome addition to our collection and will serve as a tangible link to the centenary commemorations in the years to come.

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