Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Bay South Jim O’Callaghan has welcomed the decision of the Imperial War Museum in London to return to Dublin the Na Fianna Éireann banner that was seized from Constance Markievicz’s house in the aftermath of the Easter Rising.
In July 2009 O’Callaghan started a campaign seeking the return of the banner by putting down a motion at Dublin City Council. His motion was unanimously passed on 2 October 2009.
“In 2009 I became aware that the famous Na Fianna Éireann banner, which was seized by the Royal Irish Rifles from the house of Constance Markievicz in Rathmines immediately after the Easter Rising, was being held as part of the collection at the Imperial War Museum,” said O’Callaghan.
“The Imperial War Museum informed me that the banner was part of the Royal Collection, and was in the ownership of the British Monarch. I then wrote directly to Buckingham Palace seeking a return or a loan of the banner, emphasising the fact that Ireland was heading into its decade of commemorations”.
As a result of the passing of his motion and his correspondence with the Imperial War Museum and Buckingham Palace, the Executives of Dublin City Council contacted the British Authorities and reached an agreement for the return of the banner for the 1916 centenary celebrations.
“I want to welcome the return of the Na Fianna Éireann banner, which was seized by the Third Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles in 1916, and is due to arrive back in Dublin today,” concluded O’Callaghan.