As part of a series involving the reading of Witness Statements from participants in the 1916 Rising, members of the staff at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny have invited Eibhlín O’Carroll (Alice’s Restaurant, Naas) to host the reading of the personal description penned in June/July 1916 by Nurse Aoife de Burca (Eva Burke) of her week in the GPO. Nurse Burke was the grand-aunt of recently retired Carlow-Kilkenny Obstetrician/Gynaecologist, Henry Bourke. The event takes place in the New Foyer at St Luke’s Hospital at 8pm on 31 March.
At the first reading in Naas recently, four Kildare women read the statement of the Kildare nurse. The Witness Statement is a revelation and shows the respect and courteousness of the Irish Volunteers towards their British prisoners and the admiration of the latter for their captors. That a member of the Royal Army Medical Corps, Lieutenant Mahony, was the doctor who set the damaged ankle of James Connolly is described by Nurse Burke.
Once read, the Witness Statement will be opened for discussion with the audience and the medical and other aspects of it will be interpreted by Dr Michael Conway, St Luke’s Hospital. Medical care in Dublin at the time of the Rising will be described.
The audience will be invited to sing well known songs relevant to the story of 1916. Saoirse Casey will sing her own new song ‘Aoife’ and her father, Paddy, will finish the evening with ‘Saints and Sinners’.
Though the event is free, there will be a collection for the Friends of St Luke’s Hospital.
For more information contact Edelle Nolan, Arts Coordinator by e-mailing Edelle.Nolan@hse.ie