Monthly Archives: October 2019

Commemorations in Newport

This year marks the 180th anniversary of the execution of patriot priest, Fr. Manus Sweeney. He was hanged in the Market Square in Newport in June 1799, for his supposed part in the 1798 Rebellion. In 1944, Emily, Eva O’Flaherty, Anita McMahon along with a dedicated group of Achill people, raised funds and commissioned a sculpture, dedicated to him. It seemed fitting to them, that he should have a dedication near his place of birth in Dukinella. His final resting place is marked by a Celtic cross, inscribed:

This Monument has been erected
by the Parishioners of Burrishoole
To The Memory Of
Fr Manus Sweeney
A Holy Patriotic Priest who wss hanged
in Newport June the 8th 1799
because he had joined with his countrymen
in the Rebellion of 1798

In the same graveyard lies the graves of little known martyrs, two Catholic Nuns who suffered a harrowing death during Oliver Cromwell’s campaign of terror in Ireland in the 1640’s and 50’s.

Martyred Nuns; Co. Mayo Ceremony

The President of Ireland Mr. Sean T. O’Ceallaigh, attended the ceremony at the ruins of Burrishoole Abbey, Newport, Co. Mayo last Sunday, in honour of two nuns who died of exposure when stripped and driven from their convent at Bunishoole by Cromwellian soldiers in the year 1653. There was a large congregation at High Mass in the Abbey, at which the archbishop of Tuam, Most Rev. Dr, Walsh presided and a sermon was preached by Most Rev. Dr. Fergus, Bishop of Achonry.

After Mass the President laid a wreath on the grave of Fr. Manus Sweeney, a priest who was hanged in Newport Market Square by British soldiers after the landing of the French in West Mayo in 1798. In the evening the President unveiled a stature of Our Lady, erected on a bridge near the Abbey in honour of the martyred nuns.


19 June 1953 – New Ross Standard – New Ross, Wexford, Republic of Ireland Andreas F. Borchert [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (]