Although American Civil War reenactors are a common sight in the United States, such groups are extremely thin on the ground in Ireland. However, one organisation is notable for their regular appearances in the blue and gray around the country, helping to educate the public about the Irish contribution to the conflict. Known as ‘The Pards’, their main event takes place in Kinsale, Co. Cork each year, when they invite different groups to join them for a weekend entitled ‘Calling Them Home’. The event takes place at historic Charles Fort, which sits on the site of Rincurran Castle, a fortification occupied by the Spanish during the 1601 siege of Kinsale. Charles Fort itself was besieged in 1690 by John Churchill, better known as the Duke of Marlborough. A glorious weekend in August saw high numbers visit the OPW site at the Fort to enjoy the show, and I went along to see The Pards in action.
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