On May 3rd, 1916, Grace Gifford walked into a jewelry store in Dublin. Her eyes were red and she had obviously been crying. She bought her own ring and left with it in hand. Grace was on her way to Kilmainham Gaol to marry Joseph Plunkett, the love of her life. She knew that her family didn’t approve and that she’d be a widow just a few hours after the wedding but she chose to marry him anyway. The executions of the leaders of the Easter Rising had begun that same day. Patrick Pearse, Tom Clarke, and Thomas MacDonagh were executed for their roles in the Easter Rising and her beloved would soon join them.
Grace and Joseph had a brief ceremony in the prison chapel and spent only a few minutes together as man and wife under the watchful eyes of prison guards before he was led back to his cell and she was sent home. Joseph Mary Plunkett was shot a few hours later and even though Grace lived for nearly forty more years after her husband’s death, she never remarried.
Today is their hundredth wedding anniversary, and I thought I’d share this wonderfully sad tune about them that reduces me to tears every time I hear it. The song tells their story in a way that is incredibly beautiful, even though it is heartbreaking as well. It’s most appropriate for the day.
Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Plunkett