Anyone living in or near Belfast may find this exhibition of interest:
The Corr Family – Witnessing History
A new exhibition coming to the Linen Hall Library on 4 April 2016 tells the remarkable story of the Corr Family from Belfast’s Ormeau Road. Entitled The Corr Family – Witnessing History, the exhibition gives a fascinating insight into events in Belfast, Ireland and the world during the turbulent period around 1916. It uses original sources and personal accounts to describe history through the experiences of five Corr sisters and brothers in the Easter Rising and the First World War:
- Elizabeth and Nell Corr joined Cumann na mBan (the revolutionary women’s organisation) and travelled to Dublin to meet the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising on the morning of the rebellion. Elizabeth and Nell remained active throughout the revolutionary period, visiting Terence MacSwiney in Crumlin Road Prison and campaigning in Longford to secure the election of Joseph McGuinness, a republican prisoner being held in Lewes Prison, Isle of Wight.
- Henry Corr joined the Irish Volunteers and was part of the Ulster mobilisation for the Easter Rising.
- George Corr went to Australia and joined the Australian Army, fighting in France in 1916. Three months after the 1916 Rising, George was killed in the Battle of the Somme fighting with the 54th battalion of the Australian Infantry and is buried in Rue-Du-Bois military cemetery, Fleurbaix.
- Charles Corr went to Canada and fought in France with the Canadian Army during 1916, being gassed and wounded during the fighting.
The exhibition contains a number of important artefacts including diaries kept by Elizabeth Corr, photographs, correspondence with Terence MacSwiney (who later became Lord Mayor of Cork and died on hunger strike), medals awarded to Elizabeth and Nell and the military service records of George and Charles.
Elizabeth’s and Nell’s story reveals a hidden history around the contribution of women to public life and politics at the time, while the story of George and Charles Corr gives an additional dimension to the history of the Corr Family, placing events in Ireland within the wider global context and showing, through the example of this family, that history is complex and multi-faceted.
The Corr Family – Witnessing History launches in the Linen Hall Library at 7pm on 4 April 2016 and runs until 30 April.