CIVIL WAR COMES TO IRELAND IN JUNE

The Four Courts on fire in June 1922

Sinn Féin won 73 out of the 105 Irish seats in Parliament in the post-war General Election in December, 1918. They refused to sit at Westminster and instead set up their own government called Dail Eireann on 21 January 1919. On that same day the War of Independence began. After almost three years of brutal warfare, with British atrocities on a civilian population that they felt supported the Dail, the British were beaten to the bargaining table and a treaty was signed. The treaty created the … [Read more...]

SAINT COLMCILLE

Saint Colmcille

 by Mike McCormack, AOH National Historian On 12 May, 563, Saint Colmcille established a monastery on the island of Iona.  Thirty-four years later he died on 9 June 597, which is his universal feast day.  In that short time, he exceeded the herculean task that he had set for himself of bringing 3,000 souls to Christ. The story of how and why this all came about is a remarkable one and one that is fully explained in the Major Degrees of our Order.  However, without revealing the lesson imparted … [Read more...]

A TALE OF TWO O’HARES

The OHares

Here are two stories and both are absolutely true – and worth reading!  The first began on 5 September 1893 when a son was born in St. Louis, MO to Irish-American parents Patrick Joseph and Cecilia Malloy O'Hare. Then named him Edward and he grew up to be a successful lawyer. He married Selma Louth who gave him three children: Edward (1914), Patricia (1919) and Marilyn (1924).  In 1927, Edward moved to Chicago in hope of finding a better life. At the time, Al Capone virtually owned the city and … [Read more...]

Mary MacSwiney

Mary MacSwiney

On March 27, 1872, Mary MacSwiney (Maire Nic Shuibhne) was born in Surrey, England, of an Irish father and an English mother. She grew up in Cork beset by illness which culminated with the loss of an infected foot. Educated as a teacher, by 1900 she was teaching in a convent school. Her mother's death in 1904 led to her return to Cork to head the household and secure a teaching post back at St Angela's. The MacSwiney household was intensely separatist. They read Arthur Griffith newspaper, … [Read more...]

THE BOB AND MOLLIE MONTEITH STORY (part I)

Capt_Monteith150x150

  Robert ‘Bob’ Monteith was the third son of four with five sisters born March 1, 1879 in Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow to Joseph (Cavan) and Mary Dillon (Wicklow) Monteith. He was baptized in the Episcopal Church in the diocese of Glendalough. At 16, he joined the British army claiming to be 18. After seeing action in India and Africa, he was honorably discharged on 21 March 1903. Back in Ireland, he secured a job in the Civil Service at an Ordinance Depot in Dundalk, Co. Louth. On … [Read more...]

ONE WAR ENDS – ANOTHER BEGINS

First_Dail_1

  The end of WWI on 11 November, 1918 was followed by a general election in December. Ireland at the time was still suffering from post-1916 animosity and restrictions by the British government. The death of one of the many interned Volunteers, Richard Coleman, on 9 December was alleged by Sinn Féin to be indicative of the mistreatment of prisoners. Coleman’s funeral procession through Dublin bought that Republican party valuable support in the coming election. Of the 105 Parliamentary … [Read more...]

AMERICA’S FIRST CHRISTMAS CARDS

wyoming-county-petroglyph

In 1982, archeologist Dr. Robert Pyle investigated a petroglyph, or rock carving, in Wyoming County, West Virginia. Many such carvings exist whose origins are shrouded in mystery, but Pyle thought this one unique for the carving looked like early runic writing.  He lychen-dated it as having been carved between 500 and 700 AD.  He recorded every detail of the carving in 18 separate visits, and gave the story to a local newspaper.  A reader clipped the article and sent it to the West Virginia … [Read more...]

CHRISTMAS IN IRELAND

nollaig-shona-duit

The Christmas season in Ireland is a happy combination of modern and ancient customs that combine to bring a unique meaning to this special time of year.  While Christmas shopping, decorated trees, and Santa Claus are evident everywhere, traditional customs that signify the true meaning of this holy season still remain in small towns and villages where some people still celebrate the holy feast as their ancestors had for generations. On Christmas Eve, the windows are decorated with garlands … [Read more...]

GEORGE WASHINGTON’S CHRISTMAS IRISH

washington-crossing-the-delaware-again_mort-kunstler150

  There were a few Irishmen living in and around Trenton, NJ prior to the Revolutionary War. Among them were Paddy Colvin and Sam McConkey, who ran two Delaware River ferries; Paddy Lamb, who resided near Quaker Bridge on Assunpink Creek; and John Honeyman, a retired British soldier, now a butcher and cattle-dealer in nearby Griggstown. They were all there during a very special Christmas adventure. Toward the end of 1776, George Washington’s patriot army retreated from New York … [Read more...]

Edward Walsh

Edward Walsh

  Edward Walsh was born in Dublin in 1873 and lived with his family in the North Inner City around the Bolton Street area. Edward married Ellen in 1894 and from that date on, he and his new family lived in the run-down tenements on Henrietta Street and, at the time of the Rising, on Dominick Street. By then they had 2 children, Christopher (20) and Helena (11). He worked as a Carter for McMasters in Capel Street. Edward joined the Hibernian Rifles just after their founding. The … [Read more...]