Emily had many heroes in her lifetime, most of whom were Irish Patriots especially if they took part in a rebellion against British rule. One of those perhaps closest to her heart was Fr. Manus Sweeney. He was born in Dukinella, a stone’s throw of her house on Keel Sandybanks.
Fr. Sweeney was hanged in 1799 in Newport for his supposed part in the Rebellion of the previous year. There are many legends attached to his life and death, many seeped in the supernatural.
In 1942 Emily and her friends Anita McMahon, Eva O’Flaherty, used their influence to gain publicity for the funding of a monument dedicated to the patriot priest to be erected outside his birthplace on the Island. Sculptor, Peter Grant won the commission, which was completed, and inaugurated in August 1944.
Mayo News, Saturday, August 19 1944