Category Archives: Places

1919 Dawns

As 1918 changed to 1919, life for Emily remained the same. The Spanish flu was still rampant throughout the world, and as a nurse she worked flat out nursing its victims. Financially she was no better off . She still hung on to her house on Achill, but only just. However, politically things in Ireland were on the brink of great change, that was something she could smile about.

Dail Eireann assembled at the Mansion House on January 21st, 1919, issued its Declaration of Independence, and formally and legally established the Republic of Ireland, electing Cathal Brugha as its first President. De Valera and Griffith, although members of the Dail were in Jail, but Brugha and Collins had escaped the round-up.

The Derry Journal, Wednesday, 21st December, 1955
Mansion House 1919

Sources

The Derry Journal, Wednesday, 21st December, 1955

MS 46 328/2 Coffey and Chenevix Trench papers, 1868-2007. National Library of Ireland. Department of Manuscripts.

“Christmas in the Historic Years”

In the 1955 The Derry Journal published an article “Christmas in the Historic Years”, by Seumas G. O”Ceallaigh. It documented the festive season in the historic or revolutionary years 1915-1920. Below is what he recalled of 1918.

1918

On November 11th, 1918, the Great War ended, and o November 25th the British Parliament was dissolved. December 14th was Polling Day, and Sinn Fein was working under great difficulties.

Most of its responsible leaders were in jail, arrested under “The German Plot” scare in June of that year.

It seemed impossible that an organisation which was practically leaderless could win a General Election, but in Ireland “the impossible, always happens, and the inevitable never,” as a famous Trinity-man once remarked.

Father O’Flanagan, the famous Roscommon patriot priest, who had preached eloquently at Rome before the Pope and who in his day was one of the most noted preachers in Ireland, took over the leadership of the Election Campaign.

He visited the Irish towns and villages, and the result was, as we all know, a resounding victory for Sinn Fein, who came back from the polls with over 70 seats. Before the election they had held only three.

Christmas Day, 1918 saw bonfires burning on every hillside, tricolours flying from tree-tops, and the nation watching and waiting for the first freely elected Irish Parliament since the Confederation of Kilkenny, over 300 years before.

The Derry Journal, December 21st 1955

Sources

The Derry Journal, December 21st 1955

The Easter Rising Stories YouTube Channel by Marcus Howard

Forgotten Poet

In this week in 1925 Darrell Figgis was found dead in his Bloombury lodgings, London. He was 43 years old. The last year of his life was a sad one. The tragedy of his wife’s suicide in November 1924, followed by his mistress’s death after an illegal abortion in October 1925, proved too much for him to bear. On the night of October 27th he returned to his lodgings, blocked the chimney, sealed the windows and turned on the gas fire, and slipped into a sleep he would not wake up from. 

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He would be remembered more for his unfortunate end but before his life spiraled out of control he was a writer, poet and politician. When he began to write is impossible to say, perhaps during his early years in Calcutta, India or later when he went to live in London. The first documented account could be from The Globe 09 June 1909, where the following article appeared:

Bloomsbury

Sources

31 October 1925 – Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer – Leeds, Yorkshire.

The Globe 09 June 1909,

150 Years Ago in Edenderry

150 years ago, when Emily was barley one year old an incident occurred at her family home at Windsor Terrace Edenderry, Co Offaly. She was too young  to remember the incident but it was only one of many that plagued her childhood. The article below give a glimpse into what young Emily and her family suffered as a family of converts in the days when the prejudice against them resulted many times in violence.

The court case involving Rev. Burke was one of at least ten to be heard over a decade in the petty sessions and at Edenderry. All which involved violence against him or his family. It was not unusual for the authorities to take against him too. In the above case the judges would not allow the policeman to question the witnesses, so nobody could be prosecuted for the crime.

The courthouse in Edenderry, stands exactly like it did when Emily’s family lived there

Sources
Cork Constitution 19 October 1868