Eamon Kent: Famous 1916 Irish Patriot
The Irish Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin was responsible for the establishment of many famous Irish martyrs. Their sole objective was to free the thirty two counties of Ireland of English occupation that had existed for eight hundred years.
Eamon Kent had a cultural ambition to preserve all native Irish pastimes and was also influential in musical circles and became an accomplished performer of Irish war pipes. His musical prowess was so masterful on the traditional pipes that in 1908 His Holiness, The Pope, was alerted to his presence in Rome for an athletics event. An invitation was dispatched to the Galwayman to come and play his pipes for the Pope.
Eamon, dressed in native Irish kilts, turned up at the Vatican and entertained His Holiness to a fine selection of Irish cultural music. He also led the Irish athletes in a parade on to the field and received rapturous applause for the unique and novel composition of his skills on the Irish pipes.
In 1900, aged just nineteen, he took his first Republican steps when he joined the Gaelic League. Within the movement he met many Famous Sons Of Ireland who would one day lay down their lives alongside him in the1916 Easter Rising at Dublin’s G.P.O.
Fluent in French and German, Eamon would later also become fluent in Irish and this enabled him to teach the subject in the Gaelic League branches.
Eamon’s love affair with Irish music directed him to become a member of Cumann na bPiobairi and as its Secretary, all notes were recorded only in the Irish language. In 1908 he entered into the new fledgling Sinn Fein party and by 1910 he felt the need to study Socialism under James Connolly who became his close confidant.
Eamon also had a vision for Ireland shared by Padraig Pearse, a noted teacher and poet and leader of the Rising movement. That vision was ‘Ireland Gaelic and a Free country amongst the nations of the world’.
The Volunteers came calling on Eamon’s door in 1913 and with a mission in mind, he lost no time in joining the movement. He quickly rose through the ranks to become Commandant of The Fourth Battalion and was active in the historic Howth Gun Running episode.
As Padraig Pearse and his noble colleagues began plotting the Easter Rising, the presence of Eamon Kent was considered of prime importance at the top table. Kent became one of the seven famous signatories to the historic Irish 1916 Proclamation and he was greatly involved in the meticulous military strategies to be activated when the Rising would stand up and face the might of the English crown.
Eamon was in charge of the garrison in the South Dublin Union and following the surrender, he was arrested as a leader and sentenced to death by firing squad on the 7th May 1916.
Eamon died a patriotic Irish martyr whose memory will never diminish in his native land.