#gunrunning – This weekend marks one hundred years since the gun running into Kilcoole Beach in County Wicklow by the yacht Chotah, as equally an important landing for the 1916 Rising but much less known than the famous Howth gun running carried out by Erskine Childers on Asgard.
It's part of a fascinating but little know maritime dimension to the Rising where yachts and trawlers were deployed to carry the precious weapons to Ireland. It was Childers' yacht Asgard and Conor O'Brien's Kelpie which carried the vital cargo, having been loaded from a tug in the North Sea but locally there were fishing vessels such as the Nugget from Howth that also ferried the guns from yachts to shore.
The Kilcoole Gun running Centenary Heritage Weekend is a two day celebration to mark a historic occasion: on 2 August 1914, 600 guns landed at Kilcoole beach and were brought to the village for the 1916 Rising. The programme is attached for download below.
In 1914, Erskine and Molly Childers transported guns on their yacht, the Asgard, from Germany to Ireland.
These had been bought to arm the Irish Volunteers in response to the Larne gunrunning that armed the Ulster Volunteers. However, of the 1,500 Mauser rifles, while 900 were landed at Howth the remaining 600 were to be landed at another suitable location.
On the morning of the 2nd of August 1914 the second part of this shipment was landed on Kilcoole beach, transported there on the yacht, the 'Chotah'.
What happened at Kilcoole will be celebrated this weekend and will include demonstrations and a re-enactment of trades of the time.
Come along and see the historical re-enactment of the gun running which will include a parade led by an Army Colour Party down to the beach, vintage trucks and cars of the time, and a full display by a re-enactment company to include a yacht ready to unload its cargo!
Don't miss the traditional Irish cookery demonstrations, lace & quilt expos and craft demonstrations such as weaving, stone cutting, wool spinning, wood turning/chair making and basket making.
In addition, there will be displays of historical importance pertaining to Kilcoole such as photography of the period, genealogy, traditional games, and music and dance. A Latin mass is also planned.
The community will be encouraged to dress for the period as Kilcoole will go back in time!
For more on this story click for a Wicklow People article