‘Forgotten’ Irish nationalist given State funeral
On September 18 2015, one of Ireland’s forgotten rebels was laid to rest at his family plot in Cork in a State funeral almost 100 years after his death.
Thomas Kent was executed in the aftermath of the Easter Rising.
He had not taken part in the Rising itself, but was one of the hundreds of Irish nationalists arrested in the following weeks.
Kent and his three brothers were involved in a gunfight with the RIC as they attempted to avoid arrest. One policemen was killed in the fight, as was one of Kent’s brothers.
Thomas and his brother William were charged with armed rebellion. William was acquitted but Thomas was sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad at Cork prison on 9th May 1916.
Kent was one of only two Irish nationalists executed outside of Dublin in the aftermath of the Easter Rising, the other being Roger Casement who was hanged in London.
Nearly a hundred years later, Kent was honoured with a the State funeral in Ireland, and his remains were interred into his family plot in Castlelyons, Cork.
The funeral was attended by President Higgins, and Taoiseach Enda Kenny delivered a graveside oration as recognition of Kent’s fight for his country’s independence.
The eulogy was given by historian Gerry White.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral, and thousands more watched the mass on large television screens that were erected nearby.
The funeral was also broadcast live on RTÉ.