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A dangerous Dáil – 1919

The Catholic Press 4th December, 1919 p.20. (abridged)

Photo: EO’D

In a supplement of the “Dublin Gazette” the Lord Lieutenant and Privy Council of Ireland, declared that the association known as Dáil Éireann, appears to them to be a dangerous association. It was formed and first employed for all the purposes of the associations known as the Sinn Féin organisation, Sinn Féin clubs, the Irish Volunteers and Cumann na mBan.   The order to prohibit and supress it within the 32 counties and six county boroughs of Ireland was signed by the Chief Secretary and General Sir Frederick Shaw, Commander-in-Chief of the forces in Ireland.

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Connacht Tribune 20th August, 1966 page 19

Oughtmama churches Photo: Dr Charles Nelson Wikimedia commons

Oughtmama is situated about a mile to the south east of Corcomroe Abbey. The name “Oughtmama” (“Ucht Mama” in Irish) means “the breast of an elevated pass.”
The Litany of Aengus mentions seven bishops of Oughtmama and the Leabhar Breac refers to thee saints of Oughtmama named Colman. St Colman MacDuach, who lived in the seventh century resided, for a time according to tradition at the base of Ceanaille, not far from Oughtmama, before he founded Kilmacduagh. Sometime before his death he resigned the bishopric of Kilmacduagh and retired to Burren, of which Oughtmama forms part. He is probably the founder of the first church erected there, first because there is a well in Oughtmama (now dry) called Iobar Colemain, secondly because a pattern is held in Oughtmama on 5th of November in honour of St Colman; thirdly because of St Colman’s connection with the Burren and; fourthly because no other saint’s name is connected with Oughtmama. It is said that St Colman died in Oughtmama but that he was buried in Kilmacduagh.

In Oughtmama there are remains of three churches standing nearly in a line. The most western church is 46 ft 6 in in length and 22 ft 6 in in breadth, clear of walls which are 2 ft 9 and 1/2 in thick. Its stones are carefully dressed and fitted but not laid in courses; and some of them are of great size. Its doorway is in the west gable and has inclined jambs which are surmounted by a stone lintel. In its south wall there are two windows, the heads of which are semicircular and splay on the inside. In the southwest corner there is a font on which are carved two animals with necks intertwined. To the east of the church there was a chancel 21 feet by 17 feet. The chancel arch is a plain semicircular opening ten feet wide. In the chancel there are several tombs of early date, on of which is supposed to have a fragmentary Irish inscription.

Near and to the east of the church is another church 23 ft 10 in long and 14 ft 6 in broad, clear of walls which are 2 ft 6 in thick. The stones of this church are large, generally splayed and well fitted. The doorway is in the west end its jambs incline towards the top and its head is semicircular. Its only window is in the east gable and splays, being only six inches wide on the outside while it is four feet wide on the inside.

About forty yards to the east of the latter church are the remains of another church. The remains consist of the east gable and slight traces of the foundation. The gable has a window similar to the windows of the other churches.

There are foundations of small quadrangular stone houses immediately to the east of the churches. These houses are or were called in Irish “Seanbhaile Ochtmama” (Oughtmama Old Town). About a quarter of a mile to the northeast of the churches on the slope of the mountain is Tobar Colmain. This well is now dry and in its place there is a heap of stones in the centre of which grows a whitethorn bush.
“The stream flowing from this well was once conducted,” says O’Donovan “through an artificial channel in the direction of the churches and at a short distance to the west of them it turned a mill, the site of which is still pointed out.”
There is another well a short distance lower on the slope of the hill than tobar colmain. From this well a stream flowed which is or was called Sruthan na naomh (the rivulet of the saints)
There seems, therefore, to have been a monastery once at Oughtmama resembling Clonmacnoise and other ancient Irish monasteries.

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April 25th, 1916

The Daily Gate City and constitution – Democrat April 25th, 1916
By J.W.T. Mason, Written for the United Press
New York – April 25, p.1

There can no longer be any doubt but that a grave situation of rebellion now exists in Ireland.The frustration of Sir Roger Casement’s efforts at gun running, has been only partly successful and it is practically certain that his expedition landed munitions on the Irish coast before the British naval forces intervene. More disquieting than Casement’s exploit, for the British government, is the fact that a well organized movement was ready in Ireland to make instant use of the arms imported from Germany. The “grave riots” announced in the house of commons this afternoon, are undoubtedly the work of pro-German agitators in Ireland whose propaganda the Dublin castle authorities have been unable to put down.
For many months there have been indications that a irreconcilable part of Ireland’s population has been preparing for a seditious uprising. The difficult of getting proper war equipment has been very great, owing to the stringent regulations of the British government. The Casement expedition provided for the first time sufficient munitions to influence the Irish leaders into ordering an uprising.
It is highly probable that the Germans ordered today’s naval raid on the British coast for the purpose of encouraging the Irish and throwing the British government into added confusion. How sweeping may become the Irish rebellion depends largely on the quantity of munitions that Sir Roger Casement was able to get ashore. The British government’s announcement that Casement’s operations covered two days and that only one vessel was employed, suggests only a limited amount of material was landed. When this is expended, it is difficult to determine where other important supplies can be obtained unless the troops quartered in Ireland mutiny. The most advantageous consequence of the Irish uprising for Germany will probably be the permanent detention with Great Britain of large bodies of troops that otherwise would be sent to the France-Belgium front.


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Rev. Thomas Burke, Kinvara – 1919

Tuam Herald 4th January, 1919 p.2

Corpus Christi procession, Kinvara c.1950 Photo: Cresswell archives

We deeply regret the death on the 27th of December at the Parochial House, Kinvara, of the Rev. Thomas Burke, P.P. Deceased was universally respected. He was a native of Ardrahan parish and educated at Maynooth. He had a thorough and intimate knowledge of the history of his country and was a lover of its past, and was particularly well up in the history of his native county of Galway. Few men living better knew the story of the past of this province or of the fall and rise of its families. Father Tom was in delicate health for some years and unable to actively discharge the duties of his sacred office. While able to work he wa zealous and untiring in his daily devotion to duty.

It was but a fitting thing that Dr. MacEvilly should have appointed Father Burke to so historic a parish as Kinvara, where we find the union of ancient parishes of Kiloveragh, Kilena and Duras. On a site given by James de Basterot, of Duras, the present church was erected, and it was one of the first Catholic churches built in these parts. Thus the pro-Cathedral, Galway, was not commenced until 1819 and Tuam Cathedral till 1827 and Gort church until 1828. It cost £2,000 in those days. The parish priest in 1798 was the Rev. Nicholas Archdeacon who was afterwards Bishop of the Diocese of Kilmacduagh, of which Kinvara was a part. He was succeeded by Father O’Fahy, who was followed by Father Acton, a regular, who afterwards became P.P. of Ballindereen and after him came Rev. John Fahy of Peterswell, whose successor was the Rev. Thos Shannon, afterwards P.P. of Gort.

Father Forde succeeded Father Shannon and he died a victim to duty in black ’47 and is buried in the church at Kinvara close to the B. Virgin’s alter. After him came Father Francis Arthur, who hospitably entertained John Blake Dillon when flying from Tuam dressed as a priest in clothes lent him by Father O’Brien, then Professor of St. Jarlath’s, and on a car given and driven by Richard Kelly, Esq., J.P. of Tuam.

He fled to Kinvara from Tuam to go to America, intending to leave as an emigrant in a ship that was sailing from Galway to Boston. He was brought out in a boat from Kinvara by John Holland, a native, to try and catch the ship on its outward journey ere she sailed away for the Far West. The vessel was the brig “Barbara.” The sea, however, was too rough for Holland’s boat, so regretfully he had to put in at Aran from which John Dillon ultimately sailed for the great Republic. Father Burke often related at his hospitable board the story of the sailing which he had fromeyewitnesses. Father Moloney succeeded Father Arthur and after him Father Tom Burke came.

Kinvara saw in the time of these last four deceased priests many sad changes for the worst. It lost its primacy as a bishopric – the old see at Kilmacduagh being united to the modern one of Galway. It lost its shipping trade. The only thing that did not decline was the rent the people had to pay. The old landlords, the Gregorys of Coole Park, and the De. Basterots were obliged to sell out and the new class of speculator came along.

A Mr. Comerford, a timber merchant in Galway, bought the town that belonged to Mr. Gregory and raised the rental from £335 to £1,150, but it did not and could not revive with him or his successors. A Mr. Murray, a pawnbroker in Galway, came along and was equally active in promoting depopulation. The townlandlord of Northampton decreased from 25 families to 11. But Mr. Murray left a bequest of £2,000 for a convent and to him Kinvara owes its present beautiful foundation built on a site given by Captain Blake Foster.

Kinvara was once a thriving market town, but its tolls declined from 200 to 60. It had in 1872 a population of 689 families and in 1890 this sank to 451. Its barley market for Persse’sDistillery in Galway brought in a good deal of money, but Persse’s Distillery, having been closed down owing to the narrow policy of the Bank of Ireland, that industry was lost to Galway and Kinvara.

Father Tom was universally esteemed, and while of recent years his delicate health did not allow him to go about, he was always glad to meet a brother priest or other friend and chat over old times. The regret felt at his demise was manifested in every possible way by the parishioners who felt they lost in him a good priest and friend. There was a great gathering at the funeral and Requiem Mass on Monday at the Parish Church of the priests of the diocese and the people of the district.

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Amhrán na bhFiann

The Catholic Press 31st July, 1919 p.21 (abridged)

Burren Gate Photo: EO’D

Barricade song of the Irish Volunteers, 1916
Composed in 1907, with words by Peadar Kearney and music by Kearney and Patrick Heeney. Translated into Irish by Liam Ó Rinn in 1923

We’ll sing a song, a soldier’s song,
With cheering, rousing chorus
As round our blazing fires we throng,
The starry heavens o’er us;
Impatient for the coming fight
And as we wait the morning’s light,
Here in the silence of the night,
We’ll chant the soldier’s song.

Soldiers are we, whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
Some have come, from the land beyond the wave,
Sworn to be free; no more our ancient sireland
Shall shelter the despot or the slave,
To night we man the Bearna Baoghail
In Erin’s cause come woe or weal,
‘Mid cannon’s roar, and rifle’s peal,
We’ll chant the soldier’s song.

Burren Gate Photo: EO’D

In valley green, on towering crag,
Our fathers fought before us,
And conquered ‘neath the same old flag
That’s proudly floating o’er us;
We’re children of a fighting race,
That never yet has known disgrace,
And as we march the foe to face,
We’ll chant the soldier’s song.

Sons of the Gael, men of the Pale,
The long-watched day is breaking,
The serried ranks of Innisfail
Shall set the tyrant quaking.
Our camp-fires now are burning low
See in the East the silvery glow,
Out yonder waits the Saxon foe,
Then chant the Soldier’s song.


Seo dhíbh, a chairde, duan ÓgláighBurren
Caithréimeach bríomhar ceolmhar
Ár dtinte cnámh go buacach táid
‘S an spéir go mín réaltógach
Is fonnmhar faobhrach sinn chun gleo
‘S go tiúnmhar glé roimh thíocht don ló
Fé chiúnas chaomh na hoíche ar seol
Seo libh, canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann

Sinne Fianna Fáil
atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn,
Buíon dár slua
thar toinn do ráinig chugainn,
Faoi mhóid bheith saor
Seantír ár sinsear feasta,
Ní fhágfar faoin tíorán ná faoin tráill.
Anocht a théam sa bhearna baoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil, chun báis nó saoil,
Le gunna scréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar,
Seo libh canaídh amhrán na bhfiann

Cois bánta réidhe, ar ardaibh sléibheWreck
Ba bhuadhach ár sinsir romhainn
Ag lámhach go tréan fén sárbhrat séin
‘Tá thuas sa ghaoth go seolta
Ba dhúchas riamh dár gcine cháidh
Gan iompáil siar ó imirt áir
‘S ag siúl mar iad i gcoinne námhad
Seo libh, canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann

Sinne Fianna Fail…

A bhuíon nach fann d’fhuil Ghaeil is Gall
Sin breacadh lae na saoirse
Tá sceimhle ‘s scanradh i gcroíthe námhad
Roimh ranna laochra ár dtíre
Ár dtinte is tréith gan spréach anois
Sin luisne ghlé sa spéir anoir
‘S an bíobha i raon na bpiléar agaibh
Seo libh, canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann

Sinne Fianna Fail…

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Clarinbridge, Killeeneen – 1916

Irish Press 8th June, 1935 p8

The Easter Lily, worn at Easter in memory of Irish combatants who died during or were executed after the 1916 Easter Rising.

A.O.M. sends us the following extract from an account of the Easter Week 1916 Rising in Galway, written by Comm.Gen Liam O’Maoiliosa, published in Gaelic-American, January 1917:-

At 7 a.m. (Easter) Tuesday, the Clarinbridge and Killeeneen Corps attacked the police, who acted on the defensive in their barracks. An attempt to rush the place failed and firing on both sides went on for over an hour. Then several bombs were exploded in the barracks. To do this, Captain Eamonn Corbett, who volunteered for the job, had to rush up to the windows of the barracks, under fire, and throw the bombs inside the barracks. This he did successfully six times.