Joseph Mary plunkett

There are not that many photos of the 1916 signatory, Joseph Mary Plunkett around; which may seem strange considering his keen interest in photography.

One of the reasons for this is that before travelling to Germany in 1915, to negotiate with the German government on behalf of the IRB, he burnt any photo of himself he could get his hands on. 

In the last three years of his life Plunkett had taken over as editor of the Irish Review and steered its editorial style towards a political journal; he  was joint secretary of the Industrial Peace Committee during the 1913 lockout and strike; he had joined the Irish Volunteers and was a member of their committee, and after the split in 1914 he became director of the Volunteers Military Operations; joined the IRB and became a member of their military council; he travelled incognito to Germany, who were at war with England, and negotiated with their foreign office and Chancellor on behalf of the IRB; he travelled to America to inform the Fenian society (Clan na Gael) of the plans for the rising; published a book of poetry; challenged the British Empire by being instrumental in organising The Rising and taking part in it.

He did all this whilst he was dying of Tuberculosis and suffered many severe bouts of illness which kept him confined to bed for weeks at a time. He read voraciously –on average, a book everyday- and continued to write poetry; acted and co-directed a theatre company.

He was a busy, talented, and courageous man. It’s little wonder James Connolly thought so highly of him –When asked by his son, Roddy Connolly, who the man on the mattress in the GPO was; James Connolly replied, “That’s Joe Plunkett, and he has more courage in his little finger than all the other leaders combined.”



ART: 2016 is the Arts Council's programme as part of Ireland 2016It is a diverse and distinctive public showcase of Irish art which will be presented across Ireland and abroad throughout the year. Key programme strands include the Open Call National Project Awards, which feature cutting-edge, contemporary art events in dance, visual arts, poetry and music; the Next Generation Bursary Awards which highlight the work of eighteen rising stars of Irish art; and A Nation's Voice, an open-air, free concert at Collins Barrack on Easter Sunday, featuring new choral and orchestral work by Shaun Davey and Paul Muldoon, and the voices of a 1,100-strong choir. The programme also includes a selection of national touring productions.

ART: 2016 is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht through its Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme and is created with a range of partners; local, national and international