New York City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley.
By Ray O’Hanlon
In what is being billed as the culmination of the 1916 Rising centennial commemoration in New York City, a piece of ground in Queens will this weekend be named in honor of the pivotal event in twentieth century Irish history.
Rising ground that is.
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As a result of an initiative undertaken by New York City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, the council has designated a municipal staircase in the midst of the heavily Irish community of Maspeth as “Easter Rising Way.”
The thoroughfare, located at 53rd Avenue and 64th Street, is on the Maspeth Plateau, which is the highest ground in western Queens. It provides a view of the city skyline and Calvary Cemetery in the near distance.
The unveiling of Easter Rising Way is set for Saturday, November 12 at 11 a.m. and among the expected attendees are Irish Consul General in New York, Barbara Jones, and Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.
Adams is listed as a keynote speaker for the event.
Other New York City and State political representatives, including Council Member Danny Dromm, are also listed for the event and a number of Irish American organizations are also lined up to take part in the unveiling.
Singer Cathy Maguire will be on hand to perform the national anthems.
Nearby Calvary Cemetery, which opened in 1848 – something of a standout year itself in the struggle for Irish independence – is a resting place for many who took part in that struggle and is home to the Fenian Monument, first erected by veterans of the Irish Republican Brotherhood.
A number of 1916 commemorative events have taken place in New York over the past eleven months with the main gatherings having taken place in April, the actual Rising centennial month.