Information Required October 2014

I have a gran uncle michael obrien born in killeigh tullamore in 1902 approx. Michael and several siblings disappeared after 1911 census
My grandfather Mathew stayed in killeigh. He was interred in the curragh in 1921
I would like to make contact with ellen obrien to discuss further
Also, how or where do I find records of mathew brien in the curragh. He wrote a letter to his mother from rath camp telling her not to fret and to send him razors!
Orla Mulligan
PS I have shared ellen photo on facebook in the hope someone might recognise the people or the place
Michael Holland

Dear ‘admin’,
i’ve just stumbled across the very interesting photo of British troops in Amiens Street station’ posted on your site.
I’m surprised that there is no other information about the scene.
While not an expert on the time, I have a few observations that might help someone reserching that photo.
1. There is a band playing, facing the platform, and a guard of honour in two ranks, presenting arms, at right angles to the band and the platform. The guard of honour may be of as few as 10 men.
2. In the background, facing away and presumably facing in the direction of the exit from the platform area, is what looks like an artillery gun crew towing either a gun limber or a gun covered with a platform in some way.
3. On the left in the middle ground are some civilians, one of whom appears to have his hat held over his chest.
4. In the left foreground is a group of army officers, clearly identifiable by their uniforms, boots, swagger sticks etc. They appear to be facing a train, and some of them are clearly saluting. 5. While most of these officers are wearing khaki shirts, more or less in the centre of the photo two are wearing white collars and the one closest to the train seems to be wearing his medals (or just showing a lot of medal ribbons). He is also wearing a sword.
I would interpret him as a more senior officer and the other are his staff and more junior officers. At least one of these officers seems to have a black armband on.
6. There is a mixed group of civilians in working mens clothing, at least one officer and perhaps some other ranks right beside the train.
If my understanding of the scene is correct
Michael Holland

I attended the excellent display in Cork on Saturday and spoke o one of the organizers and they suggested I make contact with yourselves.

I’m trying to establish if my Grandfather was a member of the IRA Volunteers during the War of Independence/Civil War period.

His name is unusual

Ned of Edmund Guinevan or as per the 1911 Census Ginivan/Ginevan.

He cam from Castletownroche / Shanballymore area of North Cork.

His daughter, my Aunt is convinced he was involved as he was an excellent historian and Irish Language enthusiast, very much a self educated man.

I checked the Military Archives but I did not come across his name.

Would appreciate your help.


John Crowley

Hello I am wondering if you have any photos or information on the Volunteers in county Galway. My grandfather Patrick Joseph Hughes from Ballinamore Bridge near Ballinasloe was involved in the movement and was awarded a medal from the War of Independence. He was buried with military honours but Im not sure what his role or rank was exactly. I would love to find out more about him or the movement in Co. Galway. Many Thanks.
Edel Hughes.
Hello. I’m looking to find which battalions of the Dublin Brigade Old IRA represented which areas in the city. Both my grandparent’s families on my dad’s side were old IRA (Dunne and Downey). They lived in and around Erne St., Macken St., Pearse St,. and Westland Row. Any help appreciated. Le meas, Dave

Hi there,

I am trying to get any information which you may have on my great grandmother Mary Allen who was married to my great grandfather Edward Allen.
I am trying to compile my family tree for my children & am not sure what age Mary was when she was a member of the Irish Citizens Army. I am the granddaughter of her daughter Carmel.
Any information you could give would be greatly appreciated.


Tara O’Connor

Could you fill me in about my dads first cousin George Gilmore. I would love to know what he was like as a person, other than the political person quite a lot is written about him.

I remember meeting him a couple of times when I was very young, and although my dad grew up with him in Howth, my dad didn’t really mention him as he didn’t agree with Georges politics.

I remember going to visit him in his odd little cottage in Howth. So please help me with something about him. even if it includes something of his politics etc.

Also does anyone know why his mother my Great Aunt Fanny was sent to prison for a time, this is something I have struggled to find out without any success.

Please help.


Heather Graham

Worthing,West Sussex,UK

Hello I am trying to do some research on my Grand Father Patrick Joseph Doyle. He lived at 23 Esmonde Street for a number of years and I know he was active in the war of independence we have his medal issues in the 1930s. Any information would be helpful I am sure he would have known James Gleeson
Sean Doyle
Hi, i am writing to you again, i have get some more information since i last wrote to you, it is concerning my father Laurence /Lar / La /Larry Doyle, i will give you a brief catch up as it was some time ago since i wrote to you, daddy was born in 1900 in Charlotte st Dublin, his parents Thomas and Catherine Doyle nee Kenny, they came from Shilleagh in Wicklow, they owned a provision shop in 9 Lower Camden St Dublin and 86 Rathmines from 1888 to 1898, they went bankrupt i believe, after daddy was born i am not sure where they went, they moved at some stage to Wicklow i believe then to Newbridge then to Naas where granny opened tearooms on the Canal, daddy married for the first time in 1925 he lived with his wife Kathleen Tighe in New Roe Naas, they had 2 sons William Thomas born 1926 and Thomas Leo 1927, his wife died September 1927, the new information i have is a Larry Doyle living in Newbridge which i am nearly sure is him, i have a copy of LEWIS GUN SECTION, and Larry Doyle is on it, this is the number 18193,Main St Newbridge 445yy, not sure if the 5 is that or an s, post Naas, single, that would fit with daddy being single and 22 in 1922, please i cannot confirm this i need your help to do this, all that daddy told me was all to do with Naas Newbridge and the Curragh, time is running out for my sister she is not well i am hoping for her this will be sorted soon, thank you very much, i really look forward to hearing back from you, sincerely Trena
I have been trying to find more information on my father’s grandparents Dan McCarthy originally of Knockeen, Castleisland Co. Kerry, and Nora McCarthy (nee Quinn) of Divis St. Belfast.

Dan was arrested in Milltown in Kerry in early 1918, as part of the ‘German Plot’, and sent to Crumlin Road Gaol along with other Sinn Fein members including Austin Stack, Ernest Blyth, Fionnan Lynch, Sean Doran and others. While in Crumlin Road, he took part in the famous revolt of Christmas 1918/19 where the prisoners took over the republican wing of the gaol. Here he also met my great grandmother, who was a local girl and member of the Cumann na mBann who used to visit the prison and transport various goods in and out for the prisoners. Nora was also a notorious potin maker. Nora managed to organise Dan’s exit from the prison somehow, and he settled in Belfast for the rest of his life after marrying Nora.
They both regularly took part in Republican commemorations in Belfast and were members of the National Graves Association. I have some interesting photographs and newspaper clippings of some of these commemorations I would be delighted to share with your site. One in particular of a veteran’s march in Belfast in the 1950s with Dan carrying the Tricolour which I am sure was taken on the same day as a similar photo in your photo gallery.

As far as Nora and Dan’s story goes, that is nearly all the information I have. I would be very eager to learn more as to when Dan might have joined the volunteers, if he was involved any further in the struggle in Kerry, if Nora is on the roll of the CnmB etc. They both received Black and Tan medals complete with ‘comrac’ bar so I am assuming that this means that they both would have been eligible for pensions and that there are records available of this. Dan passed away in 1968, Nora in 1971. Nora also received a survivors medal.
The most interesting part of Dan’s story is that I discovered that an autograph book belonging to him sold at an auction in Dublin in 2011 (see link below). This autograph book was compiled around the time of the prison revolt and contains autographs of the other prisoners, including sketches, poems etc. I am presuming that this book would have been confiscated from him in the gaol, as nobody in the family even knew it existed until it turned up in a google search last year. I would love to locate this book if even to have a look at it. Any help finding it would be hugely appreciated.

Slán, Adam O’Leary.

Adam O’Leary
Two historical figures intrigue me, both from north Galway.

Eva O’Flaherty – apparently a great friend of Sean MacDermott, Dr Lynn,

Maire Comerford, Anita MacMahon & Darrell Figgis et al, who was in

Cumann na mBan in 1914 with Louise Gavan Duffy … I know too that

she was very involved in the prisoner’s fund (I don’t have the exact name of

the organisation but I think it was the one that Kathleen Clarke ran) – have

you ever come acrcoss her – Eva O’Flaherty – in your research ?

Michael J McHugh (possibly used the Irish version of his name) – T. Gay

was his commanding officer, he was also born in north Galway and from what

we know was very involved in printing and in Collins’ Intelligence network – have you ever

come across him either in your research ?

With many thanks for the moment,

MJ Murphy. .

Dorothy Berkeley

Website http://
Message Richard Gough from Inchecore Dublin was a volunteer do have any details for me and is there a medal the family are due ?
In 1915 Three companies of Irish Volunteers were established in the southwest corner of Co. Limerick (my local district) by an Antrim man
His name was Ernest Blythe and as a Gaelic scholar, he had fairly good command of teanga na nGael and often used the Irish version
of his name, Ernám de Blaghd. His Irish teacher was Sinnéad Flanagan, future wife of Éanonn de Valera.

One of the Volunteer Companies he founded was in Tournafulla and the #s 1 and 2 men in that unit were the Sheehan brothers, Dave and Batt.
The Sheehans’ uncle Michael who had immigrated to California and was twice elected Sheriff of Sanmateo County. In Feb., 1921, Sheriff
Sheehan made a trip to Ireland, took with him 2 Thompson machine guns and a quantity of ammo for the Cork City IRA Brigade.

I should also mention that the Captain of the Tournafulla IRA Company was U.S.-born Tommy Leahy. In the spring of 1921 he was captured
by B&Ts, taken to Brosna (Kerry), sent to England, tried and was sentenced to be hanged. Leahy feigned illness, taken to the prison
hospital and his execution was postponed …and he survived until July and was saved by the Truce.
Seán Mac Curtáin
I’m sorry to trouble you, but was wondering whether the organisation would be able to assist me. My Great-grandmother’s (Catherine Flynn) grandfather (William Flynn) was allegedly an Irish Volunteer, Cork brigade and signed up 1914. I was just wondering whether there were any more details available such as his birthdate, parents names and where in Cork he was from?

I would be much obliged if you could please give this some consideration and get back to me with any pertinent information.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email and I look forward to hearing from you.


hi I’m looking for information on ballykinlar great-grandfather was charles mcgauley and he was a prisoner there.I know he got nicknamed cookhouse mcgauley in there.any information would be great.

Hi there,

I was just wondering if you could point me in the right direction to get information on my great grandmother Mary Ann (Molly) Devereaux also known as Mrs. Allen.

She fought in the college of Surgeons I believe.

Many thanks,

Tara O’Connor

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Exhibition at Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary October 18 and 19, 2014

Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation exhibition Thurles October 18 and 19, 2014, Hayes Hotel.

We received a warm welcome from the people of Thurles over the weekend. Many thanks to all those who attended.

We will announce over the next few weeks upcoming events.

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Commandant Vincent Byrne

By Colm Connolly:

In the summary of Commandant Vincent Byrne’s military activities, it is stated that he was a member of the party that assassinated Detective Sergeant Johnny Barton in November, 1919, “but did not fire the shot”.

I was the writer/director of the RTE television documentary, “The Shadow of Béalnabláth” which was first transmitted in 1989. Vinny Byrne was one of those who took part in the programme and helped reconstruct the shooting by him of two undercover officers at a house in Upper Mount Street, Dublin, on Bloody Sunday.

After filming, I dropped Vinny off in O’Connell Street and, during the journey there, asked him how many men exactly he had personally shot as a member of Michael Collins’ Squad.

“Three altogether,” he answered. “Those two in Upper Mount Street and a detective called Barton in College Street.”

Vinny told me that Barton was warned a number of times to keep out of intelligence work against the IRA. But he ignored the threats, so the Squad was ordered to kill him. He was an easy target because he was, apparently, a creature of habit, following a daily route from the G Division office in the police station to, presumably, Dublin Castle.

On the day of his death, Barton had just left Great Brunswick Street police station (now Pearse Street Garda Station) and, as usual, crossed the road and followed the footpath outside the railings of Trinity College, along College Street and towards Dame Street. Vinny, with seven other members of the Squad positioned at different places along the street to act as protection and backup, walked towards the detective on the same footpath.

At a distance of about twelve feet, Vinny and Barton came eye-to-eye. “He suddenly realised what was about to happen,” Vinny told me. “It must have been the expression on my face that said I’d come to plug him.”

Barton frantically tried to pull a handgun from his jacket pocket. Vinny drew his own gun from the waistband of his trousers and shot Barton in the upper stomach.

“He sank down on one knee,” Vinny said, “and he managed then to get out his gun and fire some shots at me. But they were wild and they all missed.”

And what did Vinny do? “I ran like hell,” he said.

Barton was taken to Mercer’s Hospital where he died shortly after arrival. The inquest into his death was told that he died from a gunshot wound to the chest, the bullet passing through his right lung. There was evidence, the inquest heard, that he had been shot in the back. But, if this was true, then he would have died from a gunshot wound to his back and not the chest.

“If Barton had carried his gun in a shoulder holster or the belt of his trousers, I might’ve been shot meself,” Vinny said. “We never carried guns in our pockets on a job because they’d always get caught up when we tried to pull them out.”

As we drove into College Street, Vinny pointed out the spot where he said he had shot Barton. Today, at that place, there is a tall lamp post beside a bus shelter.

Obviously, I can’t substantiate Vinny Byrne’s version of the Johnny Barton shooting, but he was very clear about every detail and I can’t understand why he would claim that particular killing out of all the assassination operations he took part in.

Colm Connolly

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Irish Volunteer Exhibition & Display At Hayes Hotel, Liberty Square, Thurles.

The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation will be holding an exhibition and display at Hayes Hotel, Liberty Square, Thurles,Co Tipperary on Saturday and Sunday October and, 2014.   11 to 5 pm.


The Hotel has strong links not alone to the GAA but also to the IRB.On the 1 November 1884, a group of Irishmen gathered in the Hotel billiard room to formulate a plan and establish an organisation to foster and preserve Ireland’s unique games and athletic pastimes. And so was founded one of the world’s greatest amateur associations, the GAA. The architects and founding members were Michael Cusack of County Clare, Maurice Davin, John K. Bracken, George McCarthy, P.J. Ryan of Tipperary, John Wise-Power, and John McKay.


Exhibition & Display
Hayes Hotel,
Liberty Square,
Co. Tipperary
October 18 and 19,
Saturday and Sunday
11am to 5pm

The Irish Volunteer Commemorative Organisation


Contact Enquiries: 086 2517954 or e mail

Please address all enquiries to 

Contact Enquiries: 086 2517954

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Update to Cork County Gaol, IRA Volunteers Executed Memorial

Many Thanks to

Ailín Mac Conbhuí for sending in the information below,well done Ailín.

Buried in the Republican Plot in U.C.C.
Cornelius Murphy- Ballydavid, Millstreet  1/2/1921

Capt Cornelius Murphy of Millstreet Battalion, Cork No. 2 Brigade is executed in Cork – the first official execution under martial law.  (He was arrested on 4th January and charged with possession of a loaded revolver.)  Patrick Lynch KC had applied for habeas corpus.

O’Donnoghue (1986), pg 129


Patrick O’Mahony-Donoughmore – 28/2/1921


Timothy McCarthy-Donoughmore – 28/2/1921


John Lyons-Aghabullogue – 28/2/1921


Thomas O’Brien-Dripsey – 1901 – 28/2/1921                                                                                                     

Two brothers and a sister, dad is a wool dyer

Seán Allen-Tipperary – 28/2/1921                                                                                              


Daniel O’Callaghan-Dripsey – 28/2/1921

Eldest son, one sister, five brothers dad a farmer

O’Farrell P (1997), pg xvii; O’Donnoghue (1986), pg 157; Sheehan (1990), pg 154 & Hart (1998), pg 99; O’Farrell (1997), pg 102

Six IRA prisoners are shot in Cork.  In retaliation, the IRA shoots twelve unarmed British soldiers in the streets of Cork the following day. Sean Allan was from Bank Place, Tipperary and a member of the Tipperary No. 3 Brigade and the others were captured after the Dripsey ambush.


Patrick Ronayne-Mallow – 28/4/1921
Thomas Mulcahy-Mallow – 28/4/1921

Captured after the Mourne Abbey Ambush. IRA ambush party at Mourne Abbey is surprised by British force – four IRA men are killed and eight captured.

Detail of Mourne Abbey Counter Ambush

Mallow Battalion Column, under Jack Cunningham (with the battalion Commandant, Tadg Byrne, also present) lay in ambush on the Mallow-Cork road at Mourne Abbey but are surrounded by a strong British force.  Three Volunteers were killed (Patrick Flynn, Patrick Dorgan and Eamonn Creedon) and another dies of his wounds (Michael Looney).  Eight Volunteers are taken prisoner and two of them are subsequently executed on the 28th April after a court-martial (Patrick Ronayne and Thomas Mulcahy).

O’Donnoghue (1986), pg 136


Maurice Moore               –           Cobh                 –          1897 -28/4/1921

Maurice Moore was an Irish republican who fought in the Irish War of Independence and was executed in April 1921 after capture in the aftermath of the Clonmult Ambush.                                               Moore was born at Ticknock, Cobh, County Cork in 1897. He was educated at the local Presentation Brothers National School and after school began work as a plumber’s mate at Haulbowline dockyard (then a British naval establishment).                                                                                                    His family had strong republican connections and he joined Irish Volunteers in Cobh in 1916. Three of his brothers were also members and they all subsequently served with the Irish Republican Army as members of the 4th Battalion, Cork No.1 Brigade.                                                                                        As a member of the Cobh Company of the IRA Moore took part in the capture of Carrigtwohill Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) barracks which was the first police barracks captured by republicans in the War of Independence. He was later involved in the capture of Cloyne RIC barracks and numerous other actions of the local IRA against British crown forces.

In February 1921 Moore was one of a flying column of over 20 IRA men billeted in an old farmhouse at Clonmult, near Midleton under Commandant Diarmuid Hurley. They were tracked down and surrounded by a company of the Hampshire Regiment of the British Army and RIC, Black and Tans and Auxiliaries. In the ensuing gunfight 12 of the republicans were killed and eight captured, including Maurice Moore.

The group were given a military courtmartial and all were sentenced to death. Seven of them later had their sentences commuted but two, Moore and his lifelong friend Paddy O’Sullivan were executed on 28 April 1921.

Maurice was 24 years old.


1911                                                                                                                                           One of 7 children, one sister, mother died, worked as shop porter. Older brothers farm servants, iron mongerer,younger siblings scholars, dad a labourer.
Patrick O’Sullivan                       –          Cobh     –           1897 – 28/4/1921

Fought at Clonmult, was captured.

1911                                                                                                                                       Patrick was the youngest of seven children of which four brothers survived  and lived with them and his parents at 8.4 thomas st cobh. Father/oldest brother a gardener, other two boiler maker and iron work.



Patrick Casey-Limerick –2/5/1921

Captain Patrick Casey of 5th Battalion, Mid-Limerick Brigade executed in Cork

O’Donnoghue (1986), pg 157


Daniel O’Brien-Liscarroll – 1891 – 16/5/1921

Daniel O’Brien

Knockardbane ,Liscarroll and member of Charleville Battalion, Cork No. 2 Brigade is executed in Cork.  He had been captured on the 11th May at Aughvrin, near Liscarrol.

O’Donnoghue (1986), pg 157;O’Farrell (1997), pg 75


Mother had passed. Brother and sister, son of farmer.

Also of note: O’Leary, Walsh, Harty and Garde were 4 volunteers captured at clonmult who got their sentences communted. (Captain P. Higgins and Volunteer J. O’Leary were wounded, o leary was still recovering and was only not executed as he was still recovering at the time of the truce)



During the period of the killing of these Volunteers General Strickland, the British G.O.C. of the Martial Law area received written warnings from the I.R.A. that if executions went ahead there would be retaliatory acts, as such,  retaliatory attacks for Volunteers including Frank Hurley, Geoffrey Canty and Lt. Con Murphy did not occur as a plan had already been put in place in retaliation for the 28/4 killings.


This occurred on May 14 when every one of the Ten Garrisons in the area was to be attacked by Volunteers. Estimates on casualties vary as the Volunteers estimate of British casualties/deaths tend to be higher than those released by the brits. This occurred on May 14 when every one of the Ten Garrisons in the area was to be attacked by Volunteers. Estimates on casualties vary as the Volunteers estimate of British casualties/deaths tend to be higher than those released by the brits.


Different esitimates of numbers  can be found in Tom Barry pg 547.


Major Compton-Smith, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who was being held hostage by the IRA was shot by the IRA on the same day.  The IRA had told Major General Strickland, Commander of the British 6th Division, that Compton-Smith would be shot if the IRA men were executed 28/4.

O’Donnoghue (1986), pg 157; Breen (1989), pg 162


Also of note:

I’m not entirely certain as to the exact reason why, as he isn’t buried there, Fian but Richard Noonan is also commemorated on the monument. I have little information on him available to hand but can ask a collegaue of mine if you’d like it.

And while on the subject of Cork Fian, in case it is of any interest: There were four Fian from Cork killed during that period, they were:

Fian Patrick Hanley,Fian Richard Noonan, Fian Jmes Pyne, Fian Seamus Courtney

Below is a mural that was completed to mark the centenary of Na Fiann Éireann by members of Ógra Shinn Féin in the Lee Fields (a popular walking area near UCC) on an abandoned structure (formerly the city baths I think). It was painted over by the City Council within a few weeks who failed to paint the rest of the graffiti riden wall.

Na Fianna Cork city





Cork city Na Fianna wall mural 1909 -2009

Seán Ó Caomhánaigh: (Though I believe this would fall outside of the remit of the years your society commemorates)

Shot by Free State Branch men while unarmed, digging an escape tunnel into the gaol
Plaque in Memory of Vol. John Joe Cavaghnagh on the other side of the gates of the old Gaol Gates from the Roll of Honour. Killed in 1940.

The Full complete article can be seen at




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Captain Tim Madigan Limerick IRA Shanagolden

Capt. Tim Madigan Limerick

Captain Tim Madigan Limerick IRA ShanagoldenCapt. Tim Madigan,
Timothy, born 11 Jan 1897, Shanagolden, Co.Limerick,
educ Mungret College, Limerick, 1911-13, as a boarder,
returned to farm at family home, Clashganniff House,
became interested in the Gaelic revival and Irish nationalism,
joined Gaelic League and Sinn Fein,
played Gaelic football for Foynes,
helped form Shanagolden company of Irish Volunteers in May 1914,
they took the MacNeill side (opposed to the WWI effort) in the split with Redmond over WWI,
the Shanagolden volunteers were not however involved in the 1916 Rising and they became inactive for a time,
Tim became Captain (head) of the revived Shanagolden company of Irish Volunteers / IRA in 1917,
IRA Captain in War of Independence,
as the war developed, the RIC decided to abandon smaller police stations,
they abandoned their station in Shanagolden in Mar-Apr 1919 and moved to Foynes,
Tim and other IRA men burned the abandoned RIC station in Shanagolden in May 1919,
he was elected unopposed as Sinn Fein District Councillor for Shanagolden, Rathkeale Rural District Council, May or June 1920,
in June 1920 he joined other IRA men planning an attack on RIC barracks at Sixmilebridge, Co.Clare, but the attack was called off,
as a new District Councillor he attended meeting of Rathkeale Rural District Council, 18 June 1920,
in June-July 1920 he helped guard the British Army commander General Lucas (abducted by the IRA on 26 June 1920) at Balliston House (or Ballysteen House), SE of Shanagolden (see map and old map),
General Lucas later escaped on 29 July 1920,
in Aug 1920 Tim and the Shanagolden IRA men captured and “paraded” two RIC men at Shanagolden,
after this there were repeated Black and Tan raids on his house, Clashganniff House, looking for him,
more than once during raids, Clashganniff House was doused with petrol, and the Black and Tans threatened to burn it,
he attended meeting of Rathkeale Rural District Council, 10 Nov 1920,

shot dead by British forces at his home, Clashganniff House, 28 Dec 1920, age 23 yrs,
while Tim was home for Christmas, William Hall (one of the men “paraded” in Aug 1920) and other RIC men suddenly arrived in Shanagolden on 28 Dec,
they captured Willie, they raided Clashganniff, Tim made a run for it, but was shot in a field,
shot in the back from a distance by a Black and Tan named Barlow,
in the “court of inquiry” William Hall says: “As Timothy Madigan continued to run, we called on him to halt once again and as he paid no attention one more shot was fired at a distance of about 400 yards which caused him to fall.”,
William Hall said he had known Tim Madigan for 17 years,
he was carried into Clashganniff House badly injured, Dr. Agnes Nolan (despite her family’s political differences with Tim) was called for and quickly came, but Tim shortly after died, Dr. Agnes said the bullet had pierced his lungs,
a British military “court of inquiry” was held at Clashganniff House the next day, 29 Dec, where the body was viewed, then released for burial,
buried at Kilbradran,
the Black and Tans watched the funeral, when they left the IRA emerged and fired shots over the coffin.

Tim madigan IRA


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Tom Crofts IRA Cork City

By Joe Healy:

The funeral of Tom Crofts, the first Commanding Officer of Cork city IRA during the Irish War of Independence, at St. Finbarrs Cemetery in March 1971.

tom Crofts IRA cork




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Old IRA monument at Newcastle West, Co.Limerick.


Old IRA monument at Newcastle West, Co.Limerick.
Erected 10 Apr 1955. It is a monument to the West Limerick dead of the War of Independence and both sides of the Civil War.

Limerick IRA

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Kilmichael Ambush Site August 2014

A history surrounding the re development of the Kilmichael ambush site is below,at the very end we have photo’s from Veronique  showing the ambush site as of August 2014,it has been a project that has caused controversy.Historical sites must be treated with respect and proper procedure should be enforced on developers,at all times the developments must be studied critically and at each stage particular stage reports filed.In  It should never be the intention by developers of historical sites to reinterpet the meaning of an original commemorative site. IVCO.


kilmichael ambush site 1

kilmichael ambush site 2

kilmichael ambush site 3

kilmichael ambush site 4


Prospect of Commemorative plaques to the Auxilaries at Kilmichael Ambush site


Seán Kelleher, secretary of the Kilmichael Historical Society, which along with the Kilmichael and Crossbarry Commemoration Committee is behind the development of the site, has denied that the auxiliaries would be commemorated.

There are proposals to have commemorative plaques to the British Auxilaries and believe it or not a replica crossley tender installed at the famous Kilmichael ambusth site in Co Cork. Is this site, where men died in combat (no matter the army of service) to be a gaudy interpetive centre and Disney like theme park ? See below two letters referring to this critical situation. We have been forwarded these letters concerning same as below, if anyone can verify that this is indeed  the actual case  please let us know so we can clear up the matter. ,



Kilmichael ambush site commemoration


Please see also

and  also this article



Seán Kelleher, secretary of the Kilmichael Historical Society, which along with the Kilmichael and Crossbarry Commemoration Committee is behind the development of the site, has denied that the auxiliaries would be commemorated.


Photos by Veronique Crombe AUGUST 2014-


Kilmichael ambush site_1470581425640151355_n






10269455_826053854094231_1696846930738793129_n (1)
























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The grave of the Commander in chief of IRA Kilcrumper cemetery,Co Cork.

Today,August 16,2014,We paid a small visit to the grave  of the Commander in chief of IRA, Kilcrumper cemetery,Co Cork. Photo’s below:

General Liam Lynch


2014-08-16 17.28.03


2014-08-16 17.28.48


2014-08-16 17.28.54

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Justice To Ireland

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Fian Seamus Courtney Passage West, Cork Dedication

The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation held a dedication today August 9, 2014 for Fian Seamus Courtney. IVCO Brian Crowley directed the ceremony. A wreath was laid by member Kevin Cross on behalf of the IVCO.

Many thanks to Joe Healy who gave the oration, Pat Manning who located the grave and proposed the commemoration, and Mick Nugent who laid a wreath on behalf of the Phoenix Society.

Many thanks to all those who took the time to attend this important commemoration.


By Eamon Murphy

Seamus Courtney was born in Cork City in 1897. His father Daniel, a blacksmith, was originally from Passage West. His mother Kate was from the Gortatlea area in Kerry. The Courtney’s lived in a small one bedroomed terraced house in the Hibernian Buildings just off Albert Road in Cork. The Courtney family home was right in the heart of Cork’s Jewish quarter, or ‘Jewtown’ as it was known to the locals, and at its height in 1910 had about 350 Jews living there, a good deal originating from Lithuania, mostly all congregating in or around the Hibernian Buildings. Despite the large Jewish community living around the Hibernian Buildings, a significant proportion of the local families were also Irish Catholics. Many of these were staunch nationalists, including the Courtneys. Others of note were the Smyths, Cotters, Mulcahys, Fitzgerald, and the Riordans; all of whom participated in the upcoming Independence movement in one way or another.

In 1912 when Seamus was fifteen years old, and having only just left school, he joined the Cork branch of the Irish National Boy Scouts, otherwise known as Na Fianna Eireann, which at that early stage held meetings at the Gaelic League headquarters An Dún in Queen Street. The Cork City Fianna branch had only been in existence for about a year but Seamus’ leadership qualities soon became apparent and he quickly rose up through the ranks and became leader of the Cork City Sluagh shortly after he joined. His leadership skills were also recognized beyond Cork City and he was soon in command of the Cork County Fianna by 1914. At that time there were branches throughout the county in places such as Blarney, Cobh, Douglas, Blackrock and Youghal. Courtney also represented Cork on the Munster Fianna Council, which had delegates from Tipperary, Waterford, Limerick and Kerry.

By this stage Seamus also became associated with the Irish Volunteers (IV) which had been founded in late 1913 and while he devoted the greater part of his time organizing, recruiting and training the Fianna, he was also regarded as an experienced and valuable officer by the Volunteer hierarchy in Cork, and he assisted in training of new Volunteer recruits.

At the Munster Fianna Convention held in Limerick in the summer of 1915 Courtney was appointed Commandant or O/C of the entire Munster Fianna organization. He delegated his previous role as head of the Cork Fianna to his able deputy and close friend Sean Healy.

In January 1916 Seamus took part in a week long ‘Officers Course’ held at Irish Volunteers HQ in Sheares Street, Cork City. Following orders received from IV Cork City Battalion O/C Sean O’Sullivan, in the days leading up to the Easter Rising, Seamus Courtney and Sean Healy mobilized about 20 senior Fianna Eireann officers at the Volunteers Hall in Sheares Street. On Easter Sunday morning the Fianna paraded in the Hall and several of them remained at Sheares Street for the rest of the week on standby.

Following the Rising the Fianna and Irish Volunteers were re-organised in Cork. In March 1917 a meeting of Fianna and Volunteer officers at Sheares Street was raided by the police and the names of those present, including Seamus Courtney and Sean Healy of the Fianna, were recorded. A week later, during the night Seamus and Sean were both arrested at their homes. The other officers had been tipped off about the imminent arrests but Courtney and Healy were not told as it was felt that they would not be arrested as they were too young. They were brought to the Bridewell detention centre in the city. They were charged with illegal drilling at the hall in Sheares Street, when they were clearly not doing anything of the sort and, despite their protests, were sentenced to eighteen months hard labour. It was subsequently reduced to three months on account of their age. They were sent to Cork Gaol. They served the full three months in harsh conditions and were released.

The Fianna organized a large welcome reception for Seamus and Sean the night of their release and the following Saturday another function was held where a presentation was made to each of them in the form of specially made inscribed Fianna wallets with ten pounds inside.

Once settled back into the regular routine of work and the movement, Seamus suggested to Sean and the other officers, about the possibility of inviting Countess Markievicz down from Dublin on behalf of the local branch of Fianna Eireann. Markievicz was only recently released from prison herself, and Seamus felt it would be a boost for the movement in Cork, a tribute to her and an honour for the Cork Fianna to have her as a guest in the city. Markievicz accepted the invite and Seamus began making plans for her stay. He booked City Hall for the occasion and arranged a full concert programme complete with a céilidh afterwards. He placed an advert in the local newspaper announcing her visit and arranged a horse drawn open carriage to collect her from the train station. The visit was a tremendous success and the streets were thronged with thousands of Corkonians hoping to catch a glimpse of this famous rebel woman. The concert itself was another triumph and Markievicz received a standing ovation when she took to the stage. Tomás Mac Curtain and Terence MacSwiney were so impressed with Seamus taking the initiative of organising the whole event and his tireless efforts with the Fianna, that they co-opted him onto the Battalion Council of the Irish Volunteers.

In October of that year (1917) another round up of senior Cork Volunteer and Fianna officers took place, this time there was no tip off and in total about 60 senior Republicans, including Seamus, found themselves behind bars. Following sentencing, they all received various terms of hard labour. A meeting of the prisoners was held and it was decided to start a hunger strike. Four days later they were all released under the ‘Cat and Mouse’ act.

Towards the end of spring, 1918, Seamus’ health rapidly deteriorated, due to ill treatment he received, and the hard labour conditions, during his two prison stays and the brief hunger strike. He gave up his job as secretary of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and also found himself unable to devote his time to Fianna activities. He went to stay with his Aunt on their farm near Ballymacelligott in Kerry. It was hoped the fresh air and a well needed rest would help Seamus back to his feet however about five weeks later word was sent to his comrades in Cork that he was in a bad way and was not expected to pull through. He requested to see his old friend Sean Healy and following a visit Sean remarked that he was “shocked at the change in him in such a short time”. Two weeks after Sean’s visit to Kerry, on the 22nd of July 1918, Seamus passed away aged only 21 years old.

Seamus’ coffin was sent from Kerry to Cork by train and was draped with a tricolour by the Kerry Fianna. A huge crowd met the train and followed the Fianna guard of honour through the streets of Cork to the South Parish Church. A large crowd attended his funeral the next day, which was organized by Sean Healy and the Cork Fianna. The burial took place at Passage West.

In the years following Seamus’ sad passing, his resting place was devotedly tended to by two local men, former Fianna members, George Hurley and Charlie Meaney. As time went on and these two men passed away themselves, the grave at Passage West became neglected. Recently the Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organization (IVCO), a national organization but based in Cork, decided that it was now time that Seamus’ grave was once again given the attention and care it deserves. Credit must go to all the local Cork members of the IVCO who have ensured that Seamus and his brave deeds will not be forgotten.

By Eamon Murphy

Posted in An Irish Volunteers History 1913-1922, Commemorative Events & Exhibitions, Cork Volunteer Memorials, Fianna Eireann, Past Exhibitions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Irish volunteer uniform and Mauser rifle on show in the “Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn museum”

Irish volunteer uniform and Mauser rifle on show in the “Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn museum”

Pat O’Hagan on behalf of the Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisaton has loaned an Irish Volunteers uniform and equuipment to Lisburn museum.

Article courtesey of Andersonstown news.




_ILC7443 copy _ILC7446 copyll

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Fian Seamus Courtney Passage West,Cork

On Sunday June, members of the Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation began work on cleaning up the grave and restoring the metal work that depicts the pike, harp of the Irish Volunteers and the sun bursts of Fianna Eireann.

Pat Manning located this grave a while ago and provided the pictures and text,Joe Healy also had some useful contributions and Diarmuid ,Brian and Mick all helped out.Well done to all.

The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation will return to Seamus Courtney’s grave on Saturday, August,2014 at 2.30 pm for a dedication and wreath laying ceremony,please show your support and all are very welcome to attend. Contact Brian Crowley for details or call at 086 2517954

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Howth Commemoration July 26 and July 27, 2014

The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation held two exhibitions at Howth to Commmemorate the Asgard gun running. The exhibitions were on over the course of two days and were well attended.

Thanks to all who attended and a special thanks to Kosta, Padraig and the lads. Thanks also to Derek at “Dublin 1916 Then and Now” for the use of some photos below.

The Exhibition at the Angling Club



The exhibition at the Old Courthouse

Kevin McCann spots an interesting article at The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation Exhibition in Howth yesterday. A New Orleans news paper from 4th May 1916 that tells the story of a different sentence handed down to MacDiarmada. 

Thanks for all the support. Please share and invite your friends to like the 1st movie to tell the story of the Easter Rising.



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Howth gun-running


By Joe Healy

IVCO,Cork,July 23,2014.


Following the establishment of the Irish Volunteers in Dublin on 25 November 1913, leaders of the newly formed organisation set about obtaining arms and equipment for its members, in a bid to finally end Britain’s continuing occupation of Ireland.
With Home Rule for Ireland being regarded as a realistic prospect, the Ulster unionists began importing huge quantities of arms unhindered into the country (by 1914, almost 20,000 Protestant Ulstermen were under arms).
The Howth gun running, which took place on the 26th of July 1914, was essentially a  direct response to the successful landing of a shipment of 35,000 German rifles at Larne for Sir Edward Carson’s Ulster Volunteers the previous April.
The Howth landing was the first military operation in Ireland’s twentieth-century fight for independence and was a significant event in the lead up to the Easter Rising of 1916. It succeeded in putting a large haul of German Mauser M1871 11 mm calibre single shot rifles and ammunition in the hands of the Irish Volunteers. The guns dated from the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, but were still functioning. Many were used to great effect in the GPO during the Rising two years later.
The initial plan was conceived and successfully carried out by a group of Anglo-Irish Republican sympathisers, including Erskine Childers, Molly Childers, Sir Roger Casement, Alice Stopford Green and Mary Spring Rice. Molly Childers and Spring Rice raised over £2000 in funds to purchase the arms while the Childers provided their yacht, the Asgard, to run the guns into Ireland.
Childers was a committed supporter of Home Rule and the Larne gun-running had convinced him of the need to counterbalance the situation by carrying out a similar venture on behalf of the Irish Volunteers.
Roger Casement was appointed as the link with the Volunteers’ leadership and Darrell Figgis was co-opted at Casement’s suggestion. At the end of May, Childers and Figgis travelled to the Hamburg arms firm of Moritz Magnus der Jüngere and bought a consignment of 1,500 Mauser Model 1871 rifles and 49,000 rounds of ammunition. On 12 July 1914 the arms were transferred at sea, from a German tugboat to Childers’s yacht Asgard and the Kelpie of Conor O’Brien.
As the movements of Kelpie were being monitored by the authorities, O’Brien transferred his cargo to Sir Thomas Myles in the Chotah off the coast of Wales. This was landed under cover of darkness on 1st August at Kilcoole, about 25 kilometres south of Dublin.
Only 900 of the rifles could be taken by the Asgard, and they completely filled the cabin. With space at such a premium, those on board had to eat and sleep while lying on the guns.
As it made its way to Ireland, the 51-foot  yacht ran into the biggest storm to hit the Irish Sea for a number of years. It was due to Childers’ seamanship and courage that the vessel survived at all and wasn’t swamped by the high seas.
On the morning of July 26, 1914, with the storm behind them, the Asgard sailed into Howth Harbour. The guns and ammunition were quickly unloaded by members of the Irish Volunteers and Na Fianna.
Kerry-born Republican, The O’Rahilly, later described the scene. `Twenty minutes sufficed to discharge her cargo; as many motor-cars flew with the ammunition to pre-arranged caches; and for the first time in a century 1,000 Irishmen with guns on their shoulders marched on Dublin town.”
The Volunteers and Fianna headed back to Dublin in military formation, passing armed policemen in Raheny and bypassing a military blockade in Clontarf.
Meanwhile, Dublin Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Harrel had declared the march ‘an illegal assembly’. The DMP, aided by troops of the 2nd King’s Own Scottish Borderers were deployed to halt the Volunteers.
While returning to their barracks in Dublin, after an unsuccessful attempt to confiscate the weapons, a number of the troops opened fire on a hostile crowd of civilians. Three people were killed and thirty-eight others wounded.
At the official inquest into the incident the government’s commission concluded that the actions of the Scottish Borderers were ‘tainted with illegality’. The Borderers were subsequently transferred to the Western Front where they were to suffer many losses.
The Bachelor’s Walk shootings highlighted British double standards, where Unionists were effectively allowed to arm without government interference while Republicans were violently prevented from doing so when they tried to do likewise.
Whenever the exploits of the Howth landing are discussed the first name that usually springs to mind is that of Erskine Childers, who was born in England in 1870. His formative years were spent in Ireland at his aunt’s estate at Glandalough, County Wicklow. after he was effectively orphaned following his father’s death and his mothers confinement to a sanatorium. In 1880, aged ten, he returned to England and began preparatory school.
Nine years later he entered Cambridge University. There he earned a law degree and subsequently entered the British Civil Service as a Committee Clerk in the House of Commons.
Twice he volunteered to serve the country of his birth. In 1898 he enlisted as an artilleryman and served in the Boer War in South Africa. And then at the outbreak of World War One in 1914 – at the age of 44, and married with two children – he enlisted in the Royal Navy, firm in the belief that the Allies would ultimately respect the claims of Irish Nationality. For his naval service during the war, Childers was awarded Britain’s highest military honour, the Distinguished Service Cross.
However, the violent reaction of the British Government to the Easter Rising, particularly the harsh punishments imposed on the participants, including the execution of sixteen of its leaders, shocked Childers. In 1918, a Westminster bill proposing to extend military conscription to Ireland further angered him.
In March 1919, he returned with his family to Ireland and joined his cousin Robert Barton at Glendalough. Barton, a Sinn Fein member, introduced Childers to Michael Collins and also Éamon de Valera. Influenced by these and other nationalists, his Home Rule sympathies hardened into full support for an Irish Republic.
He was made Director of Publicity for the First Irish Parliament and in 1921 he was elected to the Second Dáil as Sinn Féin member for the Kildare/Wicklow constituency. He was appointed Minister for Propaganda and was secretary to the Irish delegation during the negotiations for a treaty with Britain in 1921. Despite attending the negotiations, Childers strongly disagreed with the signing of the Treaty.
One of the traits of Childers personality was that he would often become obsessed with whatever concerned him. It was a characteristic that remained with him throughout his life and may have accounted for the transformation from one who once argued for peaceful Home Rule legislation in 1912, to becoming ‘more Republican in outlook that the Republicans themselves’.
As the chief propagandist of the republican movement during the subsequent Civil War, Childers was hunted relentlessly by Free State Army soldiers. He was arrested at Glendalough House for carrying a gun, which it is said had originally been given to him by Michael Collins.
He was sentenced to death and was executed at Beggars Bush Barracks on November 24th 1922, having first shaken hands with each member of the firing squad.  He was buried in the grounds of the barracks until 1923 when his body was reinterred in the republican plot of Glasnevin Cemetery.
Erskine Childers initially considered the Howth action to be as much a symbolic response to the Larne gun-running as it was an exercise in procuring arms. Was he to know that it would act as a catalyst for the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and ultimately the establishment of an Irish Republic?
Today he is remembered as a writer and sailor, as a soldier of the British Empire who became an Irish Nationalist and as a Republican that could never come to terms with the outcome of the struggle.
In 1961, the Irish government acquired the Asgard and returned it to Wicklow in a re-enactment of the Howth gun-running. Several surviving members of the Volunteers and Na Fianna attended, some with the original Mauser rifles.
It was used for sail training until 1974, when it was dry-docked and installed as part of a National Museum exhibition in Kilmainham Gaol. From 2007 to 2012, a major restoration and conservation programme of the historic yacht was undertaken at the National Museum of Ireland Collins Barracks, and it is now on permanent display there.

Many thanks to member Joe Healy for a great article.




Posted in An Irish Volunteers History 1913-1922 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment Anniversary “ASGARD” Commemoration.

Upcoming event for your diary – 100th anniversary commemoration of the landing of gun running boat the Asgard at Howth in 1914. Commemoration takes place on the East Pier, Howth, on Saturday 26th July at 3pm,speaker Eoin Ó Broin.

There will be an exhibition by the Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation on Saturday at the Angling Centre, Howth pier from 11 am to 6 pm on the same day,FREE admission.  Event organised by Howth Sinn Fein,with special thanks to Kostas Moutskos and Mick Dowling.

Ballads later in the Angling centre from

.                     All welcome.

asgard commemoration

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Howth Gun Running Centenary Commemoration 1914-2014

An exhibition of artefacts from the Asgard gunrunning of 1914 will take place in the Old Court House, Harbour Rd. Howth on Sat 26th & Sun 27th of July,from to 6 pm. on Saturday and to 4 pm on Sunday.This exhibition will also include artefacts from the Revolution of 1916 & the War of Independence to 1923. The Irish Volunteers Comm Organisation will be hosting the exhibition. Talks given daily by local historians & prominent speakers.FREE admission

Venue: Old Court House, Harbour Rd. Howth.
Date: Sat 26th & Sun 27th of July.
Contact: Pádraig Drummond, 0858353625/

This is a non party political event and all are welcome.

On Saturday 26th of July there will be a talk on the Asgard Gun running and the Bachelors Walk Massacre by Kevin Morley author of “A Descriptive History of the Irish Citizen Army”.

This will be followed by a ballad session from local musicians with headline act from the one and only, Érin go Bragh.

Venue: The Abbey Tavern, Abbey St. Howth.
Date: Sat 26th July
Doors from 8pm.
Full bar with complementary finger food.
Táille €5.

Contact: Pádraig Drummond, 0858353625/ or e mail



howth gun running commemoration

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The attack on The Royal Irish Constabulary Kilmallock Barracks.

The RIC Kilmallock sign will be on display at Irish Volunteers Commemorative events around the country soon. It was captured by IRA Volunteers.

royal irish constabulary kilmallock barracks plate


royal irish constabulary,


Posted in British Forces, RIC, Auxilaries, Black & Tans, Individual Accounts Irish Volunteers 1913-1923, Royal Irish Constabulary & Dublin Metropolitan Police Memorials | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fian Seamus Courtney Passage West,Cork

Fian Seamus Courtney O/C Fianna Eireann,Cork,

he died as the result of the ill effects of a hunger strike while he was in jail for illegal drilling in 1919. ” Seamus Courtney was arrested in 1917 and lodged in Cork jail where he went on hunger strike. This undermined his health and on his release his health broke down completely and he died. He was buried at Passage with full military honours. In 1921, the Fianna were re-organized into Battalions and Brigades along the same lines as the Volunteers.” The first photo is Seamus and the others are the present condition of his grave in Passage West Old Cemetery”,Cork.

Fianna Seamus Courtney

Fianna Seamus Courtney


On Sunday June, members of the Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation began work on cleaning up the grave and restoring the metal work that depicts the pike, harp of the Irish Volunteers and the sun bursts of Fianna Eireann.

Pat Manning located this grave a while ago and provided the pictures and text,Joe Healy also had some useful contributions and Diarmuid ,Brian and Mick all helped out.Well done to all.

The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation will return to Seamus Courtney’s grave on Saturday, August,2014 at 2.30 pm  for a dedication and wreath laying ceremony,please show your support and all are very welcome to attend.

Work in progress:


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Report of the Irish Ceremony at Bannockburn on the 700th Anniversary of the Battle

Report of the Irish Ceremony at Bannockburn on the 700th Anniversary of the Battle

In brilliant sunshine on 21 June a crowd of around a hundred Irish and Scots attended an Irish ceremony to mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, when over the two days of 23 and 24 June 1314, under the leadership of King Robert the Bruce; the victorious Scots and their Irish allies inflicted a heavy defeat on a numerically superior English army led by King Edward II in the first War of Scottish Independence.

Dr Mairtin O'Cathain delivering his speech

Dr Mairtin O’Cathain delivering his speech

The ceremony which was held in the Rotunda on the historic battle site was organised by members of the Irish community in Scotland with the endorsement of Irish for Yes and the Alba Branch of the Celtic League.

The historian Stephen Coyle who chaired the proceedings, explained that the purpose of the ceremony was two-fold; an act of remembrance for the Scots and Irish forces killed in the battle, and to highlight the historic ties that exist between the peoples of Scotland and Ireland and which can only grow stronger in an independent Scotland. He then introduced the first speaker Dr Máirtín Ó Catháin, Lecturer in Irish and European History at the Central University of Lancashire. In a very informative address Dr Ó Catháin explained the Irish dimension to the battle including the involvement of the armies of the O’Neills and O’Cathains in what was a magnificent display of Celtic solidarity in the struggle for freedom against the common English foe. In his concluding remarks Dr O’Cathain stated: “Ireland looked to Scotland in 1314 and it looks to it again in 2014. This time there’s no need to send a Bruce but if you send a message – that the writing is on the wall for the so-called Union, you’ll be doing a work not only for Scotland but for Ireland as well. And that is truly the best way to honour those who fought and died for Gaeldom and freedom”.

The next speaker was Caoimhín Ó Cadhla who is a Dublin based member of the Irish Branch of the Celtic League. Mr Ó Cadhla in his opening remarks stated: “We Irish look to your independence campaign with hope as we did 700 years ago. Realise that you are not just fighting for freedom for Scotland but for all the countries that seek their freedom around the world including the other Celtic Nations. This is not just a national issue but an international issue; that being the conflict between self-determination and the forces of imperialism”.

Irish for Yes at Bannockburn

Irish for Yes at Bannockburn

The final speaker was Feargal Dalton who is a Glasgow based Scottish National Party councillor. He first visited Scotland in 1994 to do some mountain climbing in the Highlands.  He stated: “I had learned a bit of Scottish Gàidhlig at school.  But I was struck by the place names on the map and how similar they were to the Irish language.  It was only then I realised how strong the cultural links are between Scotland and Ireland. We stopped in Glasgow on the way home and I was struck by the raw urban friendliness of Glaswegians; they reminded me of my fellow Dublin northsiders. I set about making Glasgow and Scotland my home which they became in 1996 and in the first Holyrood election of 1999 I voted for the SNP.  I bumped into a good friend on the way back from polling station, a friend who is a Scot but with a strong Irish identity. I told him that I had just done my bit in the election by voting for the SNP.  He said, “Oh no, we Irish in Scotland don’t want Independence.  We’d end up like the ones in Belfast.” I was taken aback. This was my first encounter with Unionism in the Irish Community in Scotland.  And it was a Unionism based on fear and fear alone”.

Mr Dalton went on to state: “Some in the Irish community have a lack of appreciation or a deliberate denial of the strong historical links between Scotland and Ireland. Unionists within the Irish community and in general in Scotland often say there is no connection between the Scottish and Irish independence movements.

I suggest they speak to a pupil in Ireland who is studying history. My history book at school had a photograph of James Connolly on the front.  Scotland’s very own Irish patriot.  A man who grew up in abject poverty in the Cowgate in Edinburgh. And he made the link between self-determination and social justice, ‘The cause of Ireland is the cause of labour and the cause of labour is the cause of Ireland.’

A hundred years ago there were unionists who said, “don’t devolve anything to the Irish.  Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.” Other unionists believed some powers needed to be devolved in order to kill nationalism by kindness. Sounds very like, “Devolution will kill nationalism stone dead”. The words in 1995 of our own George Robertson, Scotland’s foremost Unionist.

Earlier this month we had the commemorations for the fallen in Normandy.  Commemorations that were attended by the nations of the allies and Germany.  The British and Irish Governments are working out the detail of how they will commemorate the fallen of 1916 in two years’ time.

But John Major says that by commemorating the fallen at Bannockburn we are anti-English.

I can assure you Mr Major that I am only anti people who blame the failings of an indigenous elite on the poor, the sick and on immigrants. I would never denigrate your history or the memory of your fallen Mr Major, so I respectfully ask that you don’t denigrate ours.

The polls are showing that the gap between Yes and No has narrowed. We are finding on the doorstep in Glasgow that there is no gap. This is causing increasing panic at Westminster.

Some at Westminster are saying that they won’t recognise the reality of Scottish Independence. We even have some Westminster politicians saying that they won’t recognise a yes vote; peers from the House of Lords no less and what would they know about democracy.

My grandfather and others in my family played their part in the Irish independence movement. I can stand here today and proudly say that. Some in my family paid for that independence with their lives.

But here we are in Scotland in 2014. And at this defining time in our lives, in this defining moment in our country’s history, I say to those in the Irish community and the wider community; if you believe in the full self-determination of Celtic nations, all you have to do is simply put an X in a box next to Yes”.

The chairperson then read out a message of support from Dan O’Neill who is Chief Guardian of the Ancient Clan O’Neill of Tyrone, in which he expressed the importance of Celtic solidarity in our common struggles which would be best affirmed by casting a Yes vote on 18 September.


Eugene McCabe who is a Glasgow based Yes Scotland campaign activist, laid a wreath at the memorial cairn on behalf of the Irish in Scotland. The chairperson concluded the ceremony by asking those assembled to observe a minute’s silence while the uilleann piper, Uilliam ÓhAicéad, played a lament in memory of the fallen. The colour party simultaneously dipped its flags as a mark of respect.

Irish Wreath

Irish Wreath


Flags lowered for piper's lament to fallen

Flags lowered for piper’s lament to fallen




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Dunlop Oriel House – Corner of Fenian Street & Westland Row, Dublin.


By Michael McKenna:

Dunlop Oriel House – Corner of Fenian Street & Westland Row, Dublin.
I had a tour around the infamous Oriel House, headquarters of the CID during the Civil War this morning. I took these pictures in the upper floor of the old Dunlop Factory at the back of the building. The iron gate over the door to the factory dates back to at least Civil War days, and probably older as I believe the building was also used to house prisoners by the British. According to the security guard who took me around the building there were still cages there as recently as 5 or 6 years ago. As Eunan O’Halpin put it “Oriel House succeeded in its task of suppressing small scale republican activities in the Dublin area, not by the sophistication and efficiency its intelligence work… but by the more direct method of striking terror into its opponents”. It was certainly quite chilling to be taken through the basement of the building. For more information on the activities of the CID, this article is quite comprehensive.–_Oriel_House

Towards the end of the Civil War the CID et al actually moved out of Oriel House (whichever one it might be) and into a building on Merrion Square, close to Government Buildings. The front wall of Oriel House was blown in by a large mine. The corner building shows no sign of this, however the stone facade on the building now occupied by the RIAM looks newer than the rest of the building. I think the weight of evidence would tend towards the corner building, which also has the postal address of ‘Dunlop Oriel House’

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By James Langton:

From L-R: Fionan Lynch, Maurice Collins, who both fought in one of the most vicious battles , in North King Street. Piaras Beaslai, Vice Commandant aat the Four Courts, Frank Shouldice and his brother Jack Shouldice, who also fought in North King Street.

IRA veterans

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‘C.F. G. Co. Galway Batt. Galway Brigade IV’

By JL:

‘C.F. G. Co. Galway Batt. Galway Brigade IV’

'C.F. G. Co. Galway Batt. Galway Brigade IV'

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Tomás Mac Curtain Monument in Cork city,,, what a shame.

First Sinn Fein Lord Mayor. Shot dead by members of the
Royal Irish Constabulary during the Irish War of Independence.

Photos sent in by member Kevin Cross.

Kevin believes the monument is in a disgraceful condition,and looking at the photo’s it is hard to disagree with him. The lettering has faded badly, the stone work is tarnished and grimy and there is even graffiti on it. If the city are going to erect a monument they should at least take care of them. This monument was erected in 1999 and just look at the state of it,its like something 100 plus years old.


Now getting to the real problem here, is this”monument” a fitting memorial to a man who fought for Irish freedom and was murdered by the Royal Irish Constabulary in his home?

This “monument” was just slapped up,,and left there to decay. You would be hard pressed to know who in fact was Tomais MacCurtain by looking at the image of him,,bears no resemblance to the man at all,the whole thing is an insult,the wording on the stone does not even explain that he was OC of Cork 1 Brigade IRA and that he was murdered by the  Royal Irish Constabulary .  With 2016 right around the corner, and with a whole new draft of new city councillors in city hall, we appeal to them to rectify this monument and also the National monument in the Grand parade. The National monument is in a dreadful condition.It has been completely neglected. We are calling on the councillors of Cork city hall to also erect a new monument in Cork city to the Irish Volunteers ,Cummann na mBan and na Fianna Eireann in time for 2016 celebrations, this is the very least they deserve. They might also consider renaming certain streets and bridges after our own patriots ,Victoria Cross would be a good start.

Please send your comments to







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By Gerry Monks:

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SEAN HEALY – ONE OF THE YOUNGEST MARTYRS OF 1916. JOINED na Fianna Eireann AT THE AGE OF 13.There is a plaque where he fell too in Phibsboro. Pearse sent him home because of his age, but asked him to drop in a dispatch to the Volunteers at the North Dublin Union,it was Jacobs, and it was actually to the Bridge in Phibsboro he was heading with a message for the Commanding Officer there. J. Langton.


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The Active Service Unit of the Dublin Brigade S.L. Augustine ‘Gus’ Murphy – Section Commander No. 4 Section ASU

By michael McKenna:
S.L. Augustine ‘Gus’ Murphy – Section Commander No. 4 Section ASU
The Active Service Unit of the Dublin Brigade was established at a meeting in Great Denmark Street in 1919 under the command of Oscar Traynor. Four sections were created, Lieut. Frank Flood was placed in command of Sections 1 and 2 on the north side of the city and Lieut. Johnny Dunne in command Sections 3 and 4 on the south side. Frank Flood was a UCD student and a close friend of Kevin Barry’s and it is very likely that he knew Bobbie Bonfield. 

There were about 50 members of the ASU in total. Unit headquarters was at Eustace Street and No. 4 Section was based in the Brickworks in Dolphin’s Barn and covered an area stretching from there to Thomas Street in the north and Inchicore to the west. The Section Commander (equivalent of Sergeant) of No. 4 Section was Gus Murphy and other members of the section included Joe McGuinness , Paddy Rigney, later a prominent anti-Treaty fighter, Padraig O’Connor and James Harpur, who were both later to become prominent officers in the Free State Army. James Harpur later recalled how the section was organised;

“G.H.Q. Intelligence Section collected data for jobs. The action to be carried out was an execution it was passed on by the Intelligence Section to the Squad who were a special unit to deal with such matters. If the action was an ambush it was passed on to the appropriate Active Service Unit. In addition, the ASU had its own Intelligence Section which was with the 3rd Battalion. This Section collected information which it passed on to the ASU Headquarters in Eustace Street. The 4th Section Headquarters was in the Brickworks in Dolphins Barn. The Section Commander, Gus Murphy would attend at Unit Headquarters each morning and bring whatever instructions he received back to us at Dolphins Barn.”

S.L. Augustine ‘Gus’ Murphy was the son of John and Ester Murphy from Balantona, Manor Kilbride, Co. Wicklow, but at this point he was living in Watkin’s Buildings, The Coombe, Dublin. Watkin’s Buildings housed workers from the nearby Watkins Brewery so it is likely that he or a member of his family worked there. The brewery brewed ale and stout.

On Holy Thursday, 24th March 1921 Murphy led a unit to assassinate the Chief Clerk of the Ballykinlar internment camp who had recently moved to live in the Crumlin area. The Clerk was held up on Cork Street but instead of surrendering, he drew his gun. He was immediately shot and wounded so seriously that he was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. In the exchange of fire a young girl called Keegan was also tragically killed.

The following day Murphy and two other members of the ASU (one of whom was probably Paddy Rigney) were unarmed and on their way to Mount Argus when they were stopped by British troops who also appeared to be unarmed. They refused to put their hands up and got to grips with the soldiers. In the ensuing melée Murphy was shot in the stomach when one of the soldiers produced a mall revolver from his sleeve. He died later that day in the Meath Hospital. So in a tragic twist of fate in the Meath hospital on Good Friday 1921 lay the critically wounded Clerk while in the mortuary of the same institution lay the dead bodies of Murphy and the little Keegan girl.

Gus Murphy was very popular with his men and he was given a full military funeral by the IRA. He was buried in his home town in Wicklow and Michael Sweeney took over as Section Commander of No. 4 Section. Sweeney was a ferocious fighter who was to be involved in organising and participating in many actions against British troops in the area over the coming months.

Paddy Rigney later told his son that they were able to identify the British soldiers involved in Murphy’s death and the pubs they frequented. They bided their time and avenged their comrades’ death.

In his Witness Statement Padraig O’Connor states;

“Gus Murphy was made Sergeant after Sweeney went to hospital and shortly after he was made Sergeant he was in a scuffle with two soldiers in Charlemount Street. He was badly wounded and was taken to the Meath Hospital, where he died almost immediately.”

However, O’Connor seems to be getting mixed up here as Gus Murphy died on Good Friday 25th March 1921, while the Halfway House ambush took place on 5th May 1921. So it would appear that Sweeney replaced Murphy as Section Commander, rather than the other way around.


Posted in Individual Accounts Irish Volunteers 1913-1923 | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Irish Republican postcards

Below are some Republican postcards and photos , some are quite “famous” while others are of lesser known Republicans, one is of IRA Volunteer Meagher ,does anybody know who is in the photo with him? Or does anybody have more information on the others?

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Patrick O’Brien IRA Limerick


By Cathal Og McCarthy:

Patrick O’Brien IRA Limerick

patrick o brien IRA limerick

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Sinead De Valera


sinead de valera

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Joseph P. McGuinness

Joseph P. McGuinness (10 April 1875 – 31 May 1922) was an Sinn Fein politician who was elected as member of parliament  (MP) for South Longford at by-election in 1917.

He was re-elected as MP for the new Longford constituency at the 1918 election.. McGuinness was serving a prison term when he was elected to Westminster and among those who worked on his election campaign was Michael Collins. The election slogan for McGuinness at the time was “Vote him in to get him out!”

joseph mcGuinness

In common with the other Sinn Féin MPs, he did not take his seat in theBritish House of Commons,, sitting instead as a TD  in the revolutionary First Dail, where he was appointed as substitute Director of Trade and Commerce on 27 October 1919.

He was re-elected unopposed at the 1921 General election, in the new Longford Westmeath  constituency;he died before the 1922 general election. He voted in favour of the Anglo-Irish in January 1922.

At a subsequent election, his seat was taken by his brother Francis McGuinness.

McGuinness Glasnevin Funeral


Firing party at Joseph McGuinness funeral in Glasnevin Cemetery 2nd June 1922.



Source : wikepedia

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Report of Cumann na mBan Talk in Glasgow

Cumann na mBan Talk in Glasgow


To mark the centenary of the founding of Cumann na mBan, the Irish Heritage Foundation in Glasgow, hosted a talk by the historian Stephen Coyle on April 24, entitled No Ordinary Women – The Untold Story of Cumann na mBan in Scotland, to a large audience from the local Irish community.

Cumann na mBan Talk Glasgow




Margaret Skinnider0001

Stephen noted that in the months immediately preceding the Easter Rising, the Anne Devlin branch of Cumann na mBan travelled constantly from Glasgow to Dublin with guns and ammunition. Two of these women were Captain Margaret Skinnider and a woman who is named only as Miss O’Neill. Lizzie Moran, the dressmaker, made waistcoats and jackets with hidden pockets for carrying guns and ammunition unobtrusively. Glasgow Cumann na mBan sent a contingent to Dublin for the Rising and Margaret Skinnider who was a sharpshooter, attached herself to the Irish Citizen Army so that she could engage in physical combat. Mentioned in dispatches for her bravery, she was seriously wounded after being shot three times and spent seven weeks recovering in hospital.

In 1917 Cumann na mBan in Glasgow was reorganised under their Commanding Officer Sara O’Kane, who was also the first woman in Scotland to join Sinn Fein. The Anne Devlin branch (Central) was joined by the Betsy Gray and Eithne Carberry branches which were attached to B and C Companies of the Irish Volunteers in the city. Their membership was overwhelmingly young and unmarried and a large number of them were schoolteachers. The Anne Devlin branch organised routine drilling, First Aid classes, as well as ceilidhs and concerts to raise funds for the purchasing of arms and munitions.


After guerrilla warfare broke out in January 1919 the acquisition of explosives, guns and munitions took on a new urgency. According to Margaret Skinnider, Cumann na mBan in Glasgow worked more closely with the IRA than was the case in Ireland. She states: “we took part in nearly all their raids for arms, and we had the storing and removing of explosives, etc. Anything they were on, we took part in all of them, including raids on collieries”. In 1920 Cumann na mBan had 14 active branches in Scotland.


After the Treaty of Surrender four members of Cumann na mBan joined their comrades in an IRA expeditionary force led by Seamus Reader, that crossed to Dublin to defend the Republic in July 1922 from the Free State counter revolution.  Their names were Annie Mooney, Pidge Duggan, Mollie Duffy and Nellie Hoy. They carried small arms and ammunition with them. When they arrived Margaret Skinnider was there to meet them with a Red Cross ambulance that she used as a cover for her activities. They made for the Republican posts at the Gresham and Hammond Hotels in Sackville Street before they were evacuated due to the fall of Dublin.


On one occasion, when Pidge Duggan and Lizzie Morrin arrived from Glasgow to a safe house in Dublin, they were detained by Free State soldiers. The military were looking for Joseph Robinson, the head of the IRA in Scotland, and they knew that he was Pidge’s fiancé. They tried all kinds of tactics to find out information on Joe’s movements, including bringing the girls up to the Dublin mountains and threatening to shoot them. Three times they stopped the lorry, got out their guns, made the girls kneel, and advised them to say their prayers, telling them they would shoot them on the count of ten. Eventually they dragged Pidge and Lizzie to their feet and threw them up on the lorry. The women were imprisoned for a couple of hours and then brought to a boat that was sailing for Glasgow that night. They were warned not to return to Ireland, under pain of death. The two ladies arrived home, slept for a few hours, got up, packed their waistcoats with guns and were back again in Dublin the following evening.

In March 1923, the British authorities arrested 110 Republican activists in Scotland and England in an effort to shut down their activities. They were illegally deported to Ireland and handed over to Free State soldiers who interned them in Dublin’s Mountjoy Jail.  Of the 38 arrested in Scotland, four of them were members of the Anne Devlin branch of Cumann na mBan. Following a wave of protests, including questions in the British House of Commons, the overseas prisoners were released.


Apart from being a vital source of arms and ammunition for the Republican Forces, Glasgow became the headquarters of the Republican publicity machine after the fall of Dublin. Members of the Anne Devlin branch in Glasgow edited and proof read the newspaper Eire, which was printed in Glasgow in 1923 by the socialist press and taken to Ireland for distribution by members of Cumann na mBan. The Free State authorities quickly put the paper on its list of proscribed material and anyone found in possession of a copy faced internment.

Stephen Coyle concluded his talk by stating of Cumann na mBan in Scotland: “Their sacrifices in defence of the All-Ireland Republic were legion and the strength needed both in mind and body was truly Herculean. These courageous revolutionary women are an inspiration to all of us.”

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Captain Timothy Kennefick Cork IRA

Captain Tadhg Kennifick, Cork No. 1 Brigade IRA, who was killed by the Free State Army on the 8th September 1922, while on the way to his mothers’ funeral. He received a horrific death, under the orders of General Dalton, who had him dragged behind the back of a Free State truck, while his hands were tied together. He was then beaten with rifle butts in the face and on his body, losing several teeth and incurring vicious wounds and was eventually shot twice in the head and his body dumped behind a wall just outside Coachford Village, Co. Cork.

The new monument is a Celtic Cross erected by members of the Tadhg Kennifick commemoration committee.

Photos by K Cross

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Forthcoming Irish Volunteer Events in Limerick,Galway,Dublin ,Derry and Belfast

Over the next several months the Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation will be hosting exhibitions in Limerick,Galway,Dublin ,Derry and Belfast. Further details will be announced over the next several weeks. If you would like the Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation to visit your area please e mail us at

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Commandant Daniel J Allman East Kerry Brigade IRA

Commandant Daniel J Allman East Kerry Brigade IRA

commandant dan allman ira

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Commtd. Michael O’Brien, Adj. South Mayo Brigade IRA

By James Dooley:

Commtd. Michael O’Brien, Adj. South Mayo Brigade  IRA, Killed in action at Tourmakeady on the 3rd of May 1921, by Lt. Emmerson of the Border Regiment.

Michael O’Brien was just 22 years old when he lost his life. He was the only member of the Irish Volunteers to be killed in action in South Mayo and by a strange coincidence he was the one to rendered first aid to the only British soldier killed in action in South Mayo a few weeks earlier following the first ambush at Port Royal!

This is the only picture we have and it was found hidden in a barn on the family homestead in the 1930s. The family home was burned in retaliation for the Tourmakeady ambush in 1921.

Commtd. Michael O'Brien, Adj. South Mayo Brigade IRA

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Kilmichael Ambush Site Cork Easter Weekend 2014


Member Kevin Cross has sent a report of the works taking place at the famous Kilmichael ambush site, we would like to hear other opinions on what people think about it,e  mail us at

Short Video below:

Kilmichael ambush site



A report below from April 11:

Kilmichael,,recently we visited Klmichael,here are the photos ,they have put in pathways leading to where the different sections of the IRA were located,good idea there. Overall the layout is not bad,with parking spaces provided. Personally speaking I would have preferred that they had left it as is. It remains to be seen what they will install there next, I think they should stop now and leave it,we do not need a model of a crossley tender there, nor another monument,there is one there already. A member spoke to them in Crossbarry recently and they have said again they are not putting a memorial to the Auxies there.Please any members passing by send in more pics over the coming while.



Previous post on this below:



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– The Untold Story of Cumann na mBan in Scotland

  A talk by the historian Stephen Coyle
No Ordinary Women – The Untold Story of Cumann na mBan in Scotland
Thursday, 24th April 2014
7.30pm – 9pm
Large Hall, Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre
6 Daisy Street, Glasgow G42 8JG
Organised by Irish Heritage Foundation
Posted in Future Exhibitions | Tagged | 1 Comment

Easter Saturday Exhibition, April 19th 2014, Cork City

Irish Volunteers Exhibition Easter Saturday, April 19th, 2014 in Cork City.

We had a very good exhibition at the South parish community centre in Cork on Saturday. The event was well attended and was opened by the deputy Mayor of Cork city.

Joe Healy gave a talk on Cummann na mBan and the Volunteers and it was very well received. Well done Joe!

We also had several re-enactors and they put on a great performance, and also the lads from Knockraha. The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation presented a 1916 proclamation plaque to the South Parish Community Centre.

On Sunday morning we went to the Republican plot and laid wreaths to honour the Volunteers.



Setting up




Posted in Commemorative Events & Exhibitions, Past Exhibitions, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Irish Volunteers Exhibition Easter Saturday, April 2014. Cork City.

Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation

cumman na mban flag 2



Historical Exhibition of

Irish War of Independence artifacts.



Easter Saturday, April 2014.

The south parish Community Centre

Sawmill street,Cork city. to 5pm



The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation will be hosting a display and exhibition at The south parish Community Centre

.This year,2014,marks the anniversary of the foundation of Cummann na mBan.

We will be celebrating the centenary and also the anniversary of the 1916 Rising

The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr.Catherine Clancy will officially open the Exhibition at 11.00 am on Easter Saturday April 19th 2014 in the
South Parish Community Centre
Sawmill Street
Cork City

All members to attend 10.00am

An exhibition of Irish Volunteer items from 1913 to 1923 will be exhibited ,ON DISPLAY WILL BE MEDALS,UNIFORMS ,DOCUMENTS AND MANY MORE ITEMS FROM THE PERIOD and we will have members on hand to answer any questions from the general public.

We hope this will promote a better understanding of Irish history

                                                     Contact Enquiries: 086 2517954


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Revolutionary Road Show Exhibition Killarney March 29, 2014

The Irish Volunteers Commemorative organisation attended the Revolutionary Road Show Exhibition Killarney March 29, 2014. It was a very enjoyable day and was well attended by the general public. Many thanks to Gabriel for his hospitality.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Cumman na mBan and we placed special emphasis on Cumman na mBan.

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Exhibition Marking the Centenary of the Founding of Cummann na mBan Cork

The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation will be holding an Exhibition and display to mark the anniversary of the foundation of Cummann na mBan.

The event will take place in Cork city on Easter weekend,Saturday April the


Irish War of Independence

& Cumann Na mBan

Exhibition & Display

To mark the 100 Year Anniversary of the foundation of

Cumann na mBan


South Parish Community Centre

Sawmill Street,Cork city

11.00 to 5pm

The Irish Volunteer Commemorative Organisation

The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr.Catherine Clancy will officially open the Exhibition at 11.00 am on Easter Saturday April 19th 2014 in the
South Parish Community Centre
Sawmill Street
Cork City

All members to attend 10.00am



Brian Crowley



Cumman na mBan



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Revolutionary decade roadshow’ event, Muckross House, Killarney, Saturday 29 March 2014

The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation will be exhibiting at the “Revolutionary decade roadshow” event, Muckross House, Killarney, Saturday 29 March 2014. We will be participating along with other societies and groups and will have an information stand and  display.The event takes place from to 3 pm.

The event is being held in the School House, which is the grounds of Muckross House (about 2 minutes’ walk from the ‘Big’ House). This is a renovated building, which has been designed to recreate the ‘feel’ on a nineteenth century national school (complete with old-fashioned desks, maps on the wall, etc.,  albeit with full facilities re heating, audio-visual equipment etc. It’s signposted when you enter the estate.

Hope to see you all soon.


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Information Required IRA Volunteers March 20,2014.

i am the nephew of colum kelly executed in birr castle in 1923. I wonder do you know the correct age of uncle, the plaque said 18yrs but other reports say 22 yrs, as we wish to erect a plinth in clonmich cemetry
Thanking you Colum Kelly


I wanted to add again, his name: Michael O’Brien, Tullamore, Offaly, b: 1905; emigrated in 1926 and again in 1934 after living in Dublin for a year or two. I just learned he was in the habit of saying that he rode a motorcycle for Michael Collins. Additionally, his Petition for Naturalization is the only record where he makes mention of a birth place: Tullamore, Ireland. On a passenger list as well as the U.S. 1930 and 1940 Census he says his mother tongue is Irish and his country of origin is “Irish Free State”. My father died in 1985, and his siblings have passed too. My mother now shares the Irish phrases my grandfather spoke, another indication of his fierce and admirable republicanism.


I am a MA student in Irish Studies at New York University, and am doing research for potential thesis. The historiography as told by the Anglicans is inaccurate, and if my grandfather participated in the War of Independence as a volunteer, I would like to weave his story into my research.

Eileen O’Brien


My grand mothers brother is in above St. Peter’s brass and reed band . He is called William Ramsay of Coates Sreet Belfast.  We do not know what happened to him.  My grandmother passed away in 1970s and with her all information . We would like to know more about William. We believe the family came over from Lanarkshire. We know Williams brother died in Great War aged approx 17.

M Sherrard


Dear Sir/Madam , My name is Gwen Flynn nee Salmon ,I am very
interested in finding information on my Fathers Brother William or
Bill Salmon …He started work in Jacobs Factory aged fourteen ,he was
Born in 1907 …He was from  Rathmines Dublin and involved in the
Fianna very young….
I have some photos of him in the Fianna Eireann Uniform , he was also
involved in the Harp Cycling Club ….
I would really like to know if there were any records of him , he was
in the Dublin group …He was also a Volunteer in the Rathmines Fire
Brigade …..I would be very grateful if you could help me …..
Many Thanks..
Your`s Sincerely..
Gwen Flynn …


My grandfather was James Duggan , born in Armagh about 1884.

I can’t say whether or not he was active 1919 to 1921,  family was tight lipped, and he was living in U.S. as an exile.

However, his brother was Eamonn Duggan (E.S. Duggan), and I believe he joined Volunteers in 1913, and was at the 4 Courts in 1916, and was the Sinn Fein Head of Intelligence throughout 1919-1921, but I did not see his name in the roll in the booklet.
Has his name been purged simply because he remained with the Provisionals after he signed the truce and the treaty in 1921, and was Home Secretary, and eventually a Senator.
Seems a pity after 100 years have passed.
James Duggan
Hello Barry Collins,
I remember your great grandfather being very ill for some time before he died (in 1956). As a young lad back in the 1950’s I delivered newspapers to Avondale (No. 25) for years. There was a lady in the house who always paid the weekly charge on Saturday morning. I always referred to her as Mrs. Doyle. However, in later years (mid 60’s) an old Inchicore man up in the Craobh Inchicore Hall (Gaelic League) on “The Back Road” on Gratten Crescent, told me that that person was not Peader’s wife but his daughter (?). This would make sense as I now see that Peader’s wife died in 1940. Regarding your message, may I make so bold as to suggest that Seán Doyle (1901-1920) was not the Seán Doyle who was a member of The Squad ? Of course, if I am wrong maybe you could clarify that there were two Seán Doyle’s who were members of The Squad?
Sincerely, Kieran McGovern
My grandfather was a company commander in the irish volunteers in south west donegal under Commander George mc Gill.His name was Charles Mc Gowan.I would appreciate any information on him such as company name or any other information or activities assosiated with the volunteers in sw.Donegal. go raibh maith agat  Cathal Mc Gowan.
I am trying to establish if my Uncle Joe Leonard, born approx. 1900 County Carlow is the Joe Leonard founding member of The Squad. Tow of my other Uncles James and Michael were imprisoned in Mountjoy later in the 1920’s for IRA activities.
Any information would be much appreciated …Patrica Peplow
My grandfather Paddy McHugh was a member of the 4th Dublin Battalion. He was on active service – I have his medal – He was interned in Ballykinler and was afterwards moved to Kilmainham.  I would be interested in any details you have about the battalion or even my grandad. He was interned in Hammersmith in 1916 because one of his brothers – Edward – was involved. He joined up at that time on the basis that if he was doing the time he should also do the “crime”
I was not able to find any reference to him in the witness statements and as he died in 1941 he would not have given a statement himself.
My grandmother was active in the Cumman na mBan. She was a niece of Andrew Fitzpatrick was “out” in 1916 as part of the GPO garrison. He worked for the P&T and cut cables in North Earl Street. He was stationed in Hopkins and Hopkins. He was afterwards interned in Frongoch and was a Sinn Fein Dublin City Councillor 1921 to 1924. Andrew joined the Volunteers in November 1913 and was instrumental in cutting cables for the Howth and Kilcool gun running.
Andrew, who was born in 1870 did not take an active part in the 1921 – 1922 struggle but served as an instructor on communications including how to tap phones and also provided plans for cutting phone lines at the ill fated Custom House debacle.
He died in 1936 and was given a military funeral attended by Costello and Mulcahy and with a guard of honour from the comrades association.
His first cousin was John Twamley who is part of the group photo in the GPO in 1916 under the name “Patrick Twamley”. John was also in the P&T and cut signals at Bray on Easter Monday before making his way back to Dublin. John was Citizen Army…..Pat Mc Hugh
My grandmother Maggie Quinn (later Margaret Gallery) and her brothers were both in the mid Clare brigade. I have her medals and her brother Michael (Mico) Quinn accounts of what they did when looking for a military pension . They mention raids on Ruan barracks. Mico was captain of Inch Volunteers and the first chairman of a free state county council. He says that he was active in starting the volunteer movement in Clare. He was on call for 1916 though the Clare guys order was countermanded and was interned in Belfast and in Wormwood Scrubs where he was on hunger strike under Austin Stack . He then did intelligence work in the UK.
My grandmother was matron of a TB sanatorium where she hid many men on the run at risk of her own life. She also did intelligence and was a runner. She says she served in both Inch and Ennis brigade.
I have the detailed accounts they gave with names and dates of ambushes etc. Ruan barracks is one they both talk about.
They are not mentioned (Mico is briefly ) in any of the books on Clare though they both got military funerals and Mico’s obit talks of his service. His health was damaged and he retired from public life in the 1920s. She said in her applications that she at once point had a nervous breakdown after receiving a letter saying that she would be shot.
If anyone can help me tie down names and dates to incidents and also titles would be great (she says she hid the Division ?OC and Adj)  and gave up her bed to stay on guard in the sanatorium.
Margaret Gallery.
 was wondering if anyone had any further pictures or documents like this one or know members who can tell me anything on Paddy ” ninepence” O’Connor as his military records have been sealed away until my parents generation are deceased. I don’t even know his official number if any.
Paul Rossetto
I am desperately seeking anything I can re: IRA 4th Battalion, Cork No. 1 Flying Column. MAURICE MOORE, executed 28 April 1921 is my 2nd great uncle
Wendy Wirstrom
HiRe: 32 Bachelors Walk. I’m the architect responsible for the recent restoration of the building and the reinstatement of the wide streets commissioners granite shopfront. Despite having carried out a conservation study I missed the connection with Collins and would be very grateful if you could enlighten me as to references and any further information which you might have as I would like very much to amend and update the conservation report and historic building asessment already lodged.  James Kelly
Diarmuid O’Callaghan re my Volunteers photo in HI. I have received some solid info that it is ‘The IRA Flying Column, Ballybay, Co. Monaghan sometime post May 1921. The Officer is carrying a Thomson Machine Gun, a weapon which the IRA did not get until May ’21. No one has been identified in the photo , as yet.
You may be interested in that I had a book published last year ’29 Main Street Living with Partition which can be acquired through any independent booksellers. It coversthe UVF in Ulster and the formation of the first volunteers in Cavan in May 1914 & WW1
Also Arthur Griffith and the growth of Sinn Féin and the formation of the S.F. Arbitration courts in co. Cavan Sept 1917, – a wonderful political weapon. Also courts cases brought against volunteers for carrying hurley sticks. Partition is dealt with in detail and the many Protestant people who supported Home Rule. I can let you have more details
Please respond, as i can supply much info of interest.
Dermot McMonagle


Hi i am hoping to trace any records of my dad his name is Laurence Doyle, he was known also as La Lar and Larry, he was born the 8th of August 1900, his parents were Thomas and Catherine Doyle nee Kenny, they owned a shop in Camden st up to 1898, they had tea rooms in Wexford st, i believe they lived in Charlotte st when daddy was born, im sorry i have no information on his war record only his brother Patrick Patsy Doyle asked me after daddy died to get his medals as Patsy got his as he said himself he was only a scout but daddy was in deeper, im sorry for rabbiting on, it would mean so much to me to get closure on this, my own health is not the best, i will except whatever you can do for me and appreciate it very much, looking forward to hearing from you, thank you so very much, Trena.
I am researching my family who are from Inchicore in Dublin I am trying to find out more about John Owens who was killed in action 24 April 1916 he was one of the earliest casualties in the fighting and was killed at The South Union Building he is buried in the garden Dr, Steevens Hospital. He was from the Coombe area of Dublin I am interested in him as my mothers maiden name is any information you may be able to help with would be welcome, I look forward to my membership card and the news letters, many thanks Laurence
I am trying to find a phot of my Grandfather James Kennedy.
He fought in 1916 Irish Volunteers 1st Battalion G Company in the Chruch Street and Four Courts area.
He only had one arm.
I have his pension records and know he served under Denis O’Callaghan from Cabra.
Please contact me,,,John Kennedy

I am looking for any information on the O’Callaghan family of Farranbrien, Minane Bridge. Six brothers were all members of the volunteers:
Jeremiah O’Callaghan 1st Brigade and Republican Courts
John O’Callaghan 1st Brigade
William O’Callaghan 2nd Batt, Cork No.1 Brigade, Transport
Luke O’Callaghan 2nd Batt, Cork No.1 Brigade, ASU
Frank O’Callaghan 2nd Batt, Cork No.1 Brigade, local ASU
Alex O’Callaghan 9th Batt,

They also had two sisters who were active : Mary & Hannah O’Callaghan

Any information would be appreciated  Therese Byrne

Posted in Information Required on Members of the Irish Volunteers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy st. Patricks Day to all our Members and Friends





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In the odd chance you might find this of interest for your readers
Journalist David Lawlor  has dealt w/ the matter
of PTSD in his novel TAN

This  blog  deals  w/ the problems my father dealt w/ subsequent to the deaths of Volunteers Liam Scully at Kilmallock,  Pat Keating,
Sean Fitzgerald at the Burgery , the execution of  childhood  acquaintance   RIC Sgt Hickey and Tan Ernest Watkins at Kildorrery, Co. Cork


Ivan Lennon
Rochester, N.Y.


Posted on March 5 

What price freedom? Some people could answer that better than others. When it comes to Irish freedom that price was paid in 1916 in the stonebreakers’ yard of Kilmainham Gaol, where the leaders of the insurrection were executed. It was also paid throughout the War of Independence and the subsequent civil war. They were times that defined a nation.

My grandfather fought in those times… killed people for a cause and suffered for it, too. I have often thought of how he was tortured by the Black and Tans and of the day he threw a hand grenade into a British armoured truck. I have thought, too, of the firing squad he was part of and the man that he killed. They were bloody times… times that must have left their mark on his psyche in the years that followed.

My grandfather was just one ordinary man who did some extraordinary things in the name of freedom. There were plenty more like him – and there were those who continued to pay the price for their actions long after the last bullet had been fired.

George Lennon (left) seen here with a former IRA comrade, Roger McCorley

George Lennon (left) seen here with a former IRA comrade, Roger McCorley

George Lennon was one such man. His war of freedom began at the ripe age of 16 when he helped hold up a military train on Easter Monday, 1916. He served a jail term for robbing a British soldier of his rifle, and another term – three months in solitary confinement – led to him being hospitalised suffering from consumption. He came out of prison in a state of physical breakdown.

But George was tough. He recuperated over that summer and was soon back in the fight. By the time he was 20, George Lennon was commanding his own Flying Column – a guerrilla active service unit – in Waterford.

Those were heady times for a young man… dangerous ones, too.  George spent his days seizing weapons and holding up troop trains. His role as a commander meant he also made life and death decisions – decisions that would have a profound impact on him in the years ahead.  One of those decisions involved the capture of a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary during an ambush at The Burgery, outside Dungarvan.

The RIC man – Sergeant Michael Hickey – was a childhood acquaintance of George’s. But there is little room for sentiment in war, and George ordered that Hickey be executed.

Hickey was Catholic and Irish, but that wouldn’t save him. The fact was that he could identify several of the attackers and they couldn’t risk letting him go. Before he was shot, Sergeant Hickey pleaded for his life, as George recalled in his memoir, Trauma in Time.

“I knew you as a child,” the policeman said. “… You are the only person in the world that can save me.”

“I would give anything in the world to save you,” Lennon replied. “But I cannot.”

As George Lennon later recalled, the two men exchanged a “glance of understanding.”

Hickey, who had turned 36 the day before and was soon to wed, squared his shoulders. Lennon blindfolded the RIC man and ordered the executioners to fire. Shots rang out. Hickey slumped to the ground, dead.

Lennon walked over to his body and fired one shot into Hickey’s head, before having a tag placed on his body that said “Police Spy.”

It was a brutal act, but war breeds brutality.

members of dungarvan RIC

Members of Dungarvan RIC

The blood-letting wouldn’t end there. Crown forces later attacked George’s IRA party, killing two Volunteers and losing one of their own in the process.  Shortly after this George and other IRA members were ambushed by soldiers from the Devon Regiment. He received several blows to the head from rifle butts and, though initially captured, he somehow managed to escape, reaching a farmhouse in “a dazed and shaken condition” as he later wrote. It “shook me badly and my health began to decline”.

By 1921, at the age of 20, George had already lived a life – and he had the physical and mental scars to prove it.  His health would suffer even further in the years to come.

When the treaty ending the War of Independence was signed it lead to civil war. George fought with the anti-treaty side. Between March and August 1922, he led three hundred IRA men in the occupation of Waterford city. During this time he was so sick he had to be confined to bed for two weeks.

Free State soldiers bombarded the city defences with artillery fire, eventually forcing George and his men to retreat. At this point he suffered a complete breakdown and had to resign from the army.

It was only after the war that the full effects of George’s traumatic experiences became clear. There followed a series of jobs and a sad but predictable pattern. In 1923, he secured a temporary job as a County Council clerk.  A year later, his mother died, which only added to what George’s doctor described as his ‘debility and progressive neurasthenia’ (post-traumatic stress in today’s language).

Not only did George have to contend with his mental frailty, he also had to look after his three younger siblings, all of whom eventually emigrated to America. He joined them there in 1927.

The following year found him promoted to a “responsible position” in Prudential Insurance, in Newark, New Jersey. Almost at once he had a nervous breakdown, leading him to give up the post. He refused further offers of promotion for fear of how he might react.

In 1928, George had another breakdown, on top of which he suffered insomnia and gastric problems. These led to him taking a three-week stay in the New England Rest Haven.

He left Prudential at the end of that year and took an ‘easier job’ in January, 1929 as night auditor in a large hotel. He was working well until a promotion resulted in him having another breakdown. “Lack of concentration, memory lapses and an intense desire to escape” were how he described his symptoms. George took time off in health resorts and was treated by various doctors between 1930 and 1931. By 1935, he was chief cashier at the hotel. His doctor advised three months leave of absence due to his frail state.

Sick “from intense nervous irritation and exhaustion”, he resigned from the job and returned to Ireland where he was treated for neurasthenia and tuberculosis. Despite his ailments, he did find time for love and, in 1939, George Lennon married May Sibbald.

He clearly had ability, despite his sickness, and in 1940 he headed the Topographical Survey of Ireland. In 1943, May gave birth to their son Ivan. The same year, George was appointed Acting Secretary to the National Planning Conference. Unfortunately, this triggered another bout of anxiety.

In early 1946, he returned to the US, followed soon after by a reluctant May and Ivan.  George got work in the Lexington hotel but was fired in 1948 for union activities. He then worked as a machine operator but left that position after a few months and took a janitor job with the Kodak Company.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he wrote a play (Down by The Glen Side) and his memoir, Trauma in Time, but the trauma of those early years stayed with him. So painful were the memories that George sometimes resorted to drink to alleviate them. He did find peace eventually when he adopted Zen Buddhism and became one of the founders of the Rochester Zen Center.

There’s no doubt that George Lennon walked a hard road… a road that would eventually leave him feeling disillusioned with the whole journey. He would later recall his freedom-fighting days as a “tuppence ha’penny revolution’. One that was best consigned to the “dustbin of history”.

Thankfully, he is beginning to get some recognition for his important role in Ireland’s past, with the publication of Rebel Heart: George Lennon Flying Column Commander, by Terence O’Reilly and with Ulster to the Deise: Lennons in Time, by his son, Ivan. There has even been a TV documentary chronicling George’s role in the War of Independence.

It has all come late in the day but, hopefully, other historians will also acknowledge his service to the country.

This post isn’t just about one of our forgotten heroes, it’s about the cost of war – and about all those other George Lennon’s out there who lived fractured lives once the dust had settled… men who, along with their families, paid the toll, day in, day out.

george lennon


I never knew my grandfather, but I’ve thought of him and I’ve wondered how I would have fared had I been in his shoes. I’ve wondered how he coped in the aftermath of war and whether he was haunted by his actions.

What price freedom?  Philosophers, historians and academics could give all sorts of nuanced answers to that question, but I think the best answer – the most real – would come from those who actually fought for it in the first place.

  George Lennon died in 1991. His wife, May, passed away eight years earlier. Their son, Ivan, lives in New York.

 To read more about George…

Posted in George Lennon, Individual Accounts Irish Volunteers 1913-1923 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cumman na Mban Belfast Brigade Flag

Cumman na Mban Belfast Brigade Flag,this year marks the centenary of  Cumman na Mban.


cumman na mban flag 2

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Pádraig Pearse and the Irish Language

Pádraig Mac Piarais

agus An Ghaeilge

padaig pearse

     Taispeántas in Ionad an Phiarsaigh,

          27 Sráid an Phiarsaigh, BÁC 2


          Luan 3 Márta, Máirt 4 Márta,

            Céadaoin 5 Márta agus Déardaoin 6 Márta


ó  12 meánlae — 4 i.n.

      Grianghrafanna    Stair     Leabhair


               Saorchead isteach                           Fáilte roimh chách

                Le cabhair ó Ionad an Phiarsaigh, Sr. An Phiarsaigh,

                 Iarsmalann an Phiarsaigh,  Ráth Fearnáin agus

                  Conradh na Gaeilge, Ceol ó Ghael-Linn

Á eagrú ag an tIonad Buail Isteach

Pádraig Mac Piarais agus

An Ghaeilge

Taispeántas in Áras an Phiarsaigh, 27 Sráid an Phiarsaigh, BÁC 2


Luan 3 Márta, Máirt 4 Máirta, Céad. 5 Márta agus Déard. 6 Márta


ó  12 meánlae—4 i.n.

Grianghrafanna, stair, leabhair


Saorchead isteach, fáilte roimh chách

Le cabhair ó Aras an Phiarsaigh, Sr. An Phiarsaigh, Iarsmalann an Phiarsaigh,  Ráth Fearnáin agus Conradh na Gaeilge

 mar imeacht Sheachtain na Gaeilge 2014

Pádraig Pearse – Public Exhibition (free entry)

           Pádraig Mac Piarais agus An Ghaeilge

    Taispeántas in Ionad an Phiarsaigh,

        27 Sráid an Phiarsaigh, BÁC 2


  Exhibition in the Pearse Centre, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2


          Luan 3 Márta, Máirt 4 Márta,

          Céadaoin 5 Márta agus Déardaoin 6 Márta

           Monday 3 March, Tuesday 4 March,

             Wednesday 5 March and Thursday 6 March


                 ó  12 meánlae — 4 i.n.

                    12 noon     –   4 p.m.

      Grianghrafanna    Stair     Leabhair

                              Photos                  History            Books


           Saorchead isteach / free entry                     Fáilte roimh chách/All welcome

            Le cabhair ó Ionad an Phiarsaigh, Sr. An Phiarsaigh,

           Iarsmalann an Phiarsaigh,  Ráth Fearnáin agus

             Conradh na Gaeilge, Ceol ó Ghael-Linn

      Á eagrú ag an tIonad Buail Isteach

The Opening night is at 6.30 p.m. on 3 March, when Pádraig O Snodaigh and Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh will say a few words

Pádraig Mac Piarais agus

An Ghaeilge

Taispeántas in Áras an Phiarsaigh, 27 Sráid an Phiarsaigh, BÁC 2


Luan 3 Márta, Máirt 4 Máirta, Céad. 5 Márta agus Déard. 6 Márta


ó  12 meánlae—4 i.n.

Grianghrafanna, stair, leabhair


Saorchead isteach, fáilte roimh chách

Le cabhair ó Aras an Phiarsaigh, Sr. An Phiarsaigh, Iarsmalann an Phiarsaigh,  Ráth Fearnáin agus Conradh na Gaeilge

 mar imeacht Sheachtain na Gaeilge 2014

The Opening night is at 6.30 p.m. on 3 March, when Pádraig O Snodaigh and Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh will say a few words

Posted in Commemorative Events & Exhibitions | Tagged | 1 Comment



By Paul O’Brien.


On Easter Monday, 24th April 1916 an independent Irish republic was declared from the steps of the General Post Office in Sackville Street (now O’ Connell St.), Dublin, Ireland. As this event was unfolding, one hundred and sixty members of the Irish Citizen Army under Commandant Michael Mallin were taking up position within the public park of St. Stephen’s Green, located in the heart of the south inner city.

Michael Mallin was a Dubliner, a silk weaver by trade and a musician. Like many working class Dubliners he had joined the ranks of the Citizen Army on its formation during the turbulent and violent months of the 1913 Lockout.

Second in command of Mallin’s unit was Captain Christopher (Kit) Poole. Born in Dublin into a strong nationalist family, Poole had served in the British Army during the Boer War. Both were later to be joined by Countess Markievicz, a radical nationalist, who held the rank of lieutenant but was later to receive a field commission to the rank of Vice Commandant.

Their colleagues within the Irish Volunteers were also occupying strategically located positions throughout Dublin city in order to defend that newly declared republic. The 1916 Easter Rising had commenced.

The military plan involved  seizing a number of strategic buildings throughout Dublin city in the expectation that the rest of the country would also rise in rebellion. Many of the Irish battalions were seriously under strength due to the countermanding order issued by Eoin MacNeill the previous day. He was a member of the supreme council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (I.R.B), and he withdrew his support for the Rising when he heard that Roger Casement had been arrested and that the Aud, a ship laden with arms and ammunition, had been intercepted by the Royal Navy. Not only was the rescinding order published in the national press but it was also distributed by courier throughout the rest of the country. The Rising originally planned for Easter Sunday was postponed but other members of the military council of the I.R.B decided to go ahead and ordered a mobilisation for Easter Monday.

On that Easter Monday, 24th April 1916, the Irish Citizen Army’s primary objective was to occupy and hold the public park of St. Stephen’s Green. Located on the South Side of Dublin city, this twenty-two acre site was to be used as a depot area. It had been envisaged that as news of the insurrection spread throughout the country, men, weapons and transport would converge on the city. From the Green, strategic deployments of men and materials could be made. This position was also considered a central location with a fresh water supply. James Connolly, Commander and Chief of the Irish Citizen Army, knew that in urban combat, essential services would be disrupted and any reserves he could hold would place him on a better footing in the coming battles.

A number of roads intersected in this area and by securing these points, Volunteer forces could control traffic in and out of the area of operations. Securing the Green and its surrounds would also act as a link between the 2nd Battalion of the Irish Volunteers in Jacob’s Biscuit Factory on Aungier Street and the 3rd Battalion, Irish Volunteers located in Boland’s Bakery in Ringsend.

As commandant in the Irish Citizen Army, Michael Mallin had one of the most difficult areas to secure and defend. St Stephen’s Green is a wide open expanse surrounded on all sides by buildings. Mallin had to deploy his meagre force with tactical precision.

The stillness of the beautiful spring afternoon was shattered with shouts of ‘Move, move, move’ as the men and women of the I.C.A. moved at the double towards St Stephen’s Green Park. Volunteer Peter Jackson produced a key that opened the large gate at the Fusiliers Arch. A section covered the main gate of the park while others fanned out and began ordering people out of the Green. The park was crowded with a cross section of Irish society enjoying the spring sunshine on the Bank holiday Monday.  While many people looked on in disbelief, a number of shots were discharged revealing the seriousness of the situation. Mallin’s men quickly had the Green secured and his force began to dig in. The nearby College of Surgeons was searched for weapons and Mallin decided to hold this building as a fall back position.

To the north of the Green, the Shelbourne Hotel dominated the skyline. On Easter Monday 1916 the hotel bar was full of off duty British officers, equestrian types and landed gentry who had travelled to Dublin for the Spring Show and the Fairyhouse Races. Though the occupation of this building was part of the original plan, it had to be abandoned due to Commandant Mallin’s meagre force.

There is no doubt that British crown forces were taken by surprise in relation to the events that took place on Easter Monday. However, they managed to regain a number of key positions by the end of the first day and reinforcements began arriving into the capital from a number of barracks outside the city. Having secured and reinforced a number of positions in Dublin city such as Dublin Castle and Trinity College, Brigadier W.H.M. Lowe then established a number of “jumping off points” throughout the capital. An outer cordon was thrown around the city and an inner cordon was placed around each Volunteer position.

A number of minor skirmishes with British forces took place during the first day of the insurrection, but acting on intelligence received, British High Command decided to contain Mallin’s forces in the area and concentrate on the Volunteer headquarters in Sackville Street.

A force of British troops took up position within the Shelbourne Hotel and the United Services Club, both positions overlooking the Green.

At dawn on Tuesday morning, British machine gun fire was directed into the ranks of the Citizen Army in the Green. Some were killed and many were wounded as the order to evacuate the park was sent  down the line. Units fell back towards the College of Surgeons, the Volunteers running the gauntlet of bullets that was directed at them from British positions.

Many civilians were caught in the deadly crossfire and men , women and young children were killed and wounded. Hospitals in the area overflowed and temporary casualty clearing stations had to be set up in nearby buildings.

Within the College of Surgeons, Commandant Mallin assessed the situation. He consolidated his position by tunnelling through adjacent buildings, securing his perimeter, enabling him to return fire on enemy posts. Food remained scarce throughout the week and the rationing of the force’s meagre supplies was detailed to the many women of the Cumann na mBan. The men and women that occupied the College of Surgeons that Easter week, found themselves in an alien environment. The building smelt of formaldehyde and as they walked through the corridors and classrooms of the college, specimen jars lined the shelves and hundreds of anatomy drawings adorned the walls.

On Thursday of that week, a foray from the College resulted in disaster for Mallin’s unit. British troops had manoeuvred themselves into position on the south side of the Green, threatening Mallin’s position. It was decided to deploy a squad in order to remove this threat. Margaret Skinneder, a schoolteacher and Citizen Army member, was part of this unit. She had taken holidays from her teaching position in Scotland in order to take part in the Rising. As the unit reached their target, gunfire erupted and one Volunteer was killed and Skinneder was badly wounded. She was carried back to the College where her wounds were treated.

The remainder of the week passed with violent exchanges of gunfire, broken only by  one of the most bizarre incidents of that week, which was the twice-daily truce that was observed by both sides as Mr. James Kearney, the park keeper, entered the Green to feed the ducks.

By mid week the British army were in a position to begin the retaking of the city and the sound of artillery fire and smoke filled the air.

The Rising of 1916 came to an abrupt end a week after it started. The 1500 Irish Volunteers and Citizen Army faced a force of 20,000 British soldiers by the end of Easter week. Many of the Volunteer positions throughout the city had withstood attacks by the crown forces and it was the use of heavy artillery and machine guns that forced them from their posts. Faced by overwhelming odds and ever-increasing civilian casualties, the Volunteers were forced to surrender.

The surrender order was issued by Patrick Pearse, Volunteer commander and countersigned by James Connolly, commander of the Irish Citizen Army. The garrison within the College of Surgeons surrendered and were led away into captivity. Their Commandant was tried by court martial and executed in the grounds of  Kilmainham Gaol on the 8th May 1916.

The 1916 Easter   Rising in Ireland was a pivotal point in Irish history and it was one of the first conflicts of the 20th century that saw the use of urban combat. The battlefield of St. Stephen’s Green remains today as it did in 1916.  The scars of battle may still be seen on the facade of the buildings, witness to a weeklong shootout between Volunteers and British crown forces. The Green remains a major focal point in the city, bustling with people, wildlife and greenery. The Shelbourne Hotel still stands as it did in 1916 and still caters for thousands of visitors. To the west of the Green, the College of Surgeons with its hundreds of students overlooks the Georgian square as it did that spring Easter week. If one looks closely, the battle scars of that week remain on many of the buildings, a lasting testament to those who lived and died that Easter week.


To learn more read,

Shootout 1916 & the Battle for St. Stephen’s Green printed by New Island Press

Paul O’ Brien 2013-03-31

Posted in An Irish Volunteers History 1913-1922 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment