Late historian remembered in memorial walking tour

By Sean Heffernan

Family and friends of the late historian Dr Shane Kenna gathered on Sunday, February 25, for a memorial historical walking tour in his memory.

A renowned author of a number of critically acclaimed books on crucial individuals in the battle of independence, Thomas McDonagh and Jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa (amongst others), Dr Kenna sadly lost his brave battle against cancer on February 28 2017, at just 33 years of age.

Shane Kenna photofinal

Dr Shane Kenna

News of the sad and untimely passing of a man many regard as one of the foremost authorities on The Fenians sent shockwaves amongst the historical fraternity in Ireland.

In between his time spent extensively researching for, and writing his books, Dr Kenna, late of Seskin View Road, would also give 1916 walking tours around the City Centre.

His good friend and fellow Tour Guide Lorcan Collins, who gave the eulogy at his funeral last year, also conducted the event in his honour.

Among the places the group stopped at were, St Andrew’s Church on Suffolk Street, the old Irish Parliament on College Green and Trinity College, a place the British used as a base during the 1916 rising and where Dr Kenna obtained his Masters in history.

Next up potted histories of Daniel O’Connell, Jim Larkin, and how the GPO was used during the rising were told, before those assembled moved onto the last port of call on Moore Street.

Group photo at GPOfinal

The group that went on the tour

It was here that the surrender of the Irish rebels took place, and Mr Collins spoke in some detail as to how that all took place, before finishing his tour by showing people the plaque erected in honour of the man known as ‘The O’Rahilly’.

Those assembled also told stories about Dr Kenna, including the time, in the middle of a talk he was giving in Dublin Castle about Tipperary born commander in the Easter rising Thomas McDonagh, none other than Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan walked in.

Speaking about his late friend Dr Kenna, Collins had this to say, “Today’s tour we are doing to remember our good friend and family member Shane Kenna, a great historian, a great guide, and a great friend.

“A man who knew the history of Dublin inside-out, and the history of the Fenian movement inside out.”

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