An East Aurora mother and daughter and Niagara Falls make a brief but memorable appearance in a video that was broadcast on Ireland's official national channel as part of the nation's commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, the armed rebellion that started the process of independence from Britain.
"As the granddaughter of Irish immigrants who settled in Buffalo and raised 10 children, the Rising always was part of our family's consciousness growing up," said Ellen Carroll of East Aurora. "We have a treasured newspaper clipping from Ireland of the Proclamation that was always displayed and read on St. Patrick's Day."
Through the centuries, millions of Irish people were forced to leave their homeland to survive, but ties between Ireland and its people remain strong. To represent the continuing interest in their ancestral homeland, Radio Telefis Eireann, the national TV and radio channel, collected video of people reading lines from the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, which was read by leader Padraig Pearse outside the General Post Office at the start of the Easter Rising in 1916.
Several months ago, Carroll's daughter, Bridget Carroll Hager, 18, a senior at Nichols High School, noticed an announcement on the Irish Consulate web site asking people with Irish roots to submit video of themselves reading parts of the Proclamation.
Along with Carroll's husband, John Hager, they visited Niagara Falls in mid-January to recite the selection of lines they were given by the video's producers.
They had an inkling that their bit might be included when the producer offered them some extra time as long as they were filming at Niagara Falls, Carroll said. Still, they were "absolutely thrilled and so proud" to find that Hager's line had been used in the official video that was broadcast by RTE (Radio Telefis Eireann).
"Of all the places in the world, Buffalo should be represented" in the video, Carroll said.
The video that includes Carroll and Hager can be seen here.