A day of history and street theatre to mark Kilkenny's 1917 moment

Events will begin this Saturday morning and go on all day

Sam Matthews


Sam Matthews



By-election drama

WT Cosgrave, Jack Magennis, and Countess Markievicz at City Hall in Kilkenny

This Saturday will see a full day of events take place in Kilkenny to commemorate the election of WT Cosgrave here a century ago.

It looks set to be a fantastic occasion chock full of street theatre, history, and commemoration on the streets of the Marble City.

Proceedings will begin with the opening of an old-fashioned 1917 polling booth at City Hall, complete with re-enactors and mock ballot papers. People are welcome to come to the polling station and ‘vote’ for the candidate of their choice.

The main event gets under way at noon. A parade will depart from Kilkenny train station to Kilkenny court house, re-enacting the arrival of Countess Markevicz in the city 100 years ago.

She will be led by a colour party from the James Stephens Barracks, the St Patricks Brass and Reed Band, General Michael Collins restored ‘Slievenamon’ armoured car, and over 50 re-enactors in period costume.

At 12.30pm, the ‘candidates’ and other speakers — Cosgrave, DeValera, Markeviec and MaGennis — will address the crowd from the courthouse. This will be followed by the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, attended by members of the actual Cosgrave family.

A full evening of history, music and theatre will take place that evening.

Organisers say it’s shaping up to be a fantastic day with everybody invited to take part in the events, especially the parade at noon.