It was a privilege to attend the State Funeral for 1916 hero Thomas Kent. The funeral for Kent brings his legacy as the forgotten Volunteer to an end.
The service took place at St Nicholas Church in Castlelyons, Co Cork during which Kent was remembered as a religious man with a strong belief in social justice and that Ireland should be both Gaelic and free. The cortege carrying the Tricolour-draped coffin passed the train station named in his memory and made its way to the church his family attended.
Kent, an Irish Volunteer and member of the Gaelic League, did not take up arms in the 1916 Rising. But he was executed following a court martial after he and his family launched a fire-fight to resist arrest in a round-up of nationalist agitators a week after the Easter revolution. Sgt White told the congregation that modern Ireland and the challenges facing the world can be inspired by the ideals of patriotism and self-sacrifice that motivated Kent, his family and the 1916 rebels.