A statue of 1916 revolutionary and hunger striker Thomas Ashe is unveiled at his alma mater De La Salle College in Waterford.
Thomas Ashe was born in Lios Póil on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry in 1885. Having completed his teacher training at De La Salle College Waterford in 1907 he began his teaching career as principal of Corduff National School in Lusk, County Dublin.
A member of the Gaelic League he joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and was elected leader of the Fingal Volunteers in Dublin in 1915. During the 1916 Easter Rising he led the Fingal Battalion and won a major victory at Ashbourne, County Meath.
Following the Rising he was court martialed and sentenced to death, but his sentence was later commuted to penal servitude for life and he served time in Frongoch Internment camp and Lewes Prison in England.
Freed under an amnesty in June 1917 he was arrested one month later on a charge of sedition and sentenced to two years hard labour in Mountjoy Prison. When his request for prisoner of war status was turned down, he and fellow prisoners went on hunger strike. Thomas Ashe was forcibly fed during his hunger strike and died as a result of mistreatment by prison authorities.
Minister for Defence Michael Hilliard is welcomed to De La Salle College by dignitaries including Superior Reverend Brother Brendan and Mayor of Waterford Patrick Browne, for a flag raising ceremony on the school lawn.
Also present are Gregory and Nora Ashe, brother and sister of Thomas Ashe, Michael Collins, nephew of General Michael Collins who delivered the oration over the grave of Thomas Ashe, and Colonel VS Lawless, who represented General Richard Mulcahy, second in command to Ashe at Ashbourne in 1916.
The group then proceed to the school study hall where the Proclamation of 1916 is read by Michael O'Connell, a senior pupil of the college.
The bust of Thomas Ashe by sculptor Seamus Murphy RHA is unveiled by Michael Hilliard, with Ashe’s grandnephew Sean Ashe who is a first year student at the school also present.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 27 April 1966. The footage shown here is mute.