In 1915, the Irish Volunteers displayed their organisational capabilities by organising the Dublin funeral of the celebrated Fenian hero Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa. Patrick Pearse’s impassioned oration at Rossa’s graveside, in which he extolled a continuation of the Fenian tradition, was effectively a declaration of war on the British presence in Ireland. Both Thomas Clarke and Edward Daly were key figures in Rossa’s funeral arrangements, the latter as the Officer Commanding Irish Volunteers. Kathleen Clarke assisted by helping to manage the transport of Volunteers to and from the capital.
“… the funeral promises to be the largest ever seen here since that of McManus.”
Thomas Clarke to Madge Daly, 18 July 1915