Richard Neal
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal

U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh will share their insights on Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising at an event in Gasson 100 on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.

The event, titled “Reflections on the 100th Anniversary of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising,” is sponsored by Boston College and the Boston College Center for Irish Programs.  Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley will offer opening remarks.

The Easter Rising occurred on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, when a group of Irish nationalists proclaimed the establishment of the Irish Republic and, along with some 1,600 followers – including 100 women in support roles – staged a rebellion against British rule in Ireland.  The rebels seized key buildings in Dublin and fought with British troops before the insurrection was suppressed. The British executed the leaders of the Rising, an act historians say turned the rebels into martyrs and spurred a previously indifferent Ireland in support of the cause of Irish Independence.  

Marty Walsh
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

The Easter Rising will be widely commemorated on both sides of the Atlantic during this centennial year.

Neal, an avid historian, is a longtime guest lecturer at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.    

Walsh, a graduate of the Woods College of Advancing Studies, and the son of Irish immigrants from County Galway, has long been a student of Irish history. 

Oliver P. Rafferty, S.J., professor of history and director of the Irish Studies Program at Boston College, said he was pleased to sponsor an event on such an important topic during its 100th anniversary.

“The Irish Studies Program is delighted that Congressman Richard Neal and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh have agreed to speak at Boston College on the significance of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, in its centenary year,” said Fr. Rafferty. “These two prominent Irish Americans will help us to appreciate an event which is seminal for an understanding of modern Irish history.

“The Proclamation of Independence, read by Patrick Pearse outside the General Post Office in Dublin on Easter Monday 1916, explicitly mentions the support the attempted revolution had from Ireland’s ‘exiled children in America.’ It is therefore altogether appropriate that two of the descendants of Ireland’s exiled children will give us their insights into the circumstances and importance of the Rising. Our students and faculty are looking forward to the occasion.”

Registration for the event, which is free and open to the public, is requested by Feb. 19. See for additional information and to register.

A reception will follow.


–Jack Dunn | News & Public Affairs