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Quinlivan welcomes home 1916 flag from Imperial War Museum

1 November, 2016 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has expressed his joy that his work for the return of a flag captured from Volunteers in Limerick in 1916 has been met with success. The flag has been returned to the City and is now on public display.

The flag, which was on display in the Imperial War Museum, was captured by British Forces of the 4th Battalion of the Leinster Regiment in Limerick on the 5th of May 1916 following the Easter Rising in Dublin. It has been in the Imperial War Museum on a loan from the Royal Collection since 1936.

Deputy Quinlivan commented: 

“A Limerick City Museum staff member first made me aware of the flag’s existence in the summer of 2014. I have been seeking its return to Limerick ever since through regular contact with the Imperial war museum. It was always my hope that it would be back in Limerick for the 100th anniversary of the rising. I am delighted that it has arrived back in Limerick today.

“I must acknowledge that the museum in London were very helpful. While a number of technical delays prevented the flag coming back for the whole of 2016, it is still great that it is here now. Following confirmation that the flag would be returned, the Imperial War Museum had to then get permission from the Royal Collection, which is owned by the English Queen. So, she is the one who has basically given us back our flag.

“They agreed to give the flag back to us on a long-term loan, which effectively means that the flag is home in Limerick where it belongs and I would hope that people come and see it, where it is on show as part of the Council’s 1916 display and for the foreseeable future.

“Sinn Féin was determined to ensure that the 1916 Centenary is marked in the most appropriate way possible, as a fitting popular acknowledgement of the past but also, and just as importantly, as a pointer to a better future. Many events have taken place and many continue to take place across Ireland and the world to commemorate this hugely important event which gave birth to the free Irish nation. 

“I am delighted that finally this flag has been returned to Limerick where it rightfully belongs. It will serve as a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives and liberty for our freedom.”   

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