Kerry historians Maurice and Jane O'Keeffe were celebrated by none other than President of Ireland Michael D Higgins at a moving ceremony in Dublin on Thursday as they handed over a treasure trove of 1916 material to the nation.
Maurice and Jane were delighted to present their 1916 Rising Oral History Collection and Volume to the National Library of Ireland - the fruit of their work over the past four years interviewing so many immediately related to those who fought in the Rising.
Comprised of 245 audio recordings with relatives, the Collection is remarkable for allowing us an even clearer perspective on the founding chapter of the modern nation.
Now, its priceless recordings are available for all researchers to access thanks to this week's generous donation.
Maurice and Jane were in some company for the handover.
"Having the director and chair of the National Library on one hand and President Michael D Higgins as well as the British Ambassador to Ireland Dominick Chilcott on the other for the ceremony was pretty amazing," Maurice told The Kerryman.
"Best of all was the fact we were joined by over 100 relatives of those who fought in 1916, with a strong Kerry presence."
Among that strong Kerry presence was the niece of Thomas Ashe, Eileen Quinn, there with her son and granddaughter.
In a reminder of just how recent the events of 1916 are, two children of key Kerry participants in the Rising were also present - Kenmare postmistress Rosalie Rice's son Denis Barrett and Valentia cable station operator Tim Ring's son Diarmuid.
Members of Michael Mulvihill's family and The O'Rahilly's family were there too, among so many others deeply connected with the troubled period.
All were rapt for the President's address, a typically moving speech that put everything gracefully into its rightful context: "May I say immediately that it is very appropriate that I pay tribute to Maurice and Jane O'Keeffe. It is a pleasure to be here and I want to thank you for what you do for history, not only on this occasion making a significant gift to the National Library but also for your other recording of voices from the different settings that make up our country and contemporary Irish history," President Higgins said.
"The 1916 Rising Oral Collection leads us deeply into the story of 1916; including into its back streets and covert corners and into the quiet heroism of those whose names, despite not being widely known perhaps to later generations, are as permanently stitched into the fabric of the Irish Republic as the names of James Connolly, Padraig Pearse, Cathal Brugha or Michael Collins.
"It allows us a long view, stretching back from the seismic events at the GPO to the tenement buildings and cottages of Dublin City, and outwards to the suburbs of Finglas and Swords and Dollymount and to the rural villages and towns beyond," the President said.