Joe Gannon's Blog (73)

One of 'The Boys of Wexford' Returns: JFK in Ireland

On June 23, 1963 the people of Ireland fell in love with a member of “The Wild Geese” who had less than five months to live. If ever an American politician had a style and ease that allowed the people of Ireland to see the “Irish” in him, it was John…

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Added by Joe Gannon on June 12, 2018 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Semmes and the San Patricios: 'Dishonored and Dishonorable'?

In November of 1846, as the war between Mexico and the United States raged, an unusual unit of the Mexican army was formed by General Santa Anna, it was called the San Patricios or St. Patrick's Company. Commanded by John Riley, a deserter from Company K of…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 16, 2018 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Mayo's Tourmakeady Ambush: Shrouded By 'Fog of War'

Tuesday, May 3, 1921 was a beautiful, sunny day in the nearly treeless Partry Mountains above the town of Tourmakeady, County Mayo, but Tom Maguire was in no condition to enjoy the weather. Maguire, the C/O of the South Mayo Flying Column,…

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Added by Joe Gannon on April 30, 2018 at 7:30pm — 3 Comments

Titanic Hero Hugh McElroy: 'Sand For Breakfast Tomorrow'

It was a little after 2 am on April 15, 1912. The deck of the R.M.S. Titanic was now tilted over 6 degrees toward the sinking bow. As 17-year-old Jack Thayer and 30-year-old Milton Long moved toward one of the last remaining lifeboats on the boat deck,…

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Added by Joe Gannon on April 5, 2018 at 10:00am — 11 Comments

The Headford Ambush: Time Runs Out in Kerry

Now rise up DJ Allman, arise and tell me true

Who fought at Headford Station that day along with you?

Who stood out on that platform board, who fired that signal gun?

Who fought to free old Ireland with you my darling son?

--…

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Added by Joe Gannon on March 13, 2018 at 11:30pm — 6 Comments

The O’Sullivan Beare Clan: Taking the Fight to America

When the rebels in Britain’s American colonies rose up against British rule in 1776, some of the most stalwart supporters of the cause of independence were the same Irish clans that had fought against the English / British rule of their own island for…

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Added by Joe Gannon on February 25, 2018 at 1:00pm — 6 Comments

Cataclysm in Cork: The Battle of Clonmult

On top of roof and window,

Those boys stood up to fight,

‘Til the burning of the cottage

And no escape in sight.…

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Added by Joe Gannon on January 19, 2018 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments

Wexford's James Power and the Trail of Tears to Texas

As nine year old Rosalie Hart came up onto the deck of the schooner “Sea Lion” there was a furious gale blowing. She and her family were thousands of miles from their home in Ballymoney, County Wexford, Ireland.…

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Added by Joe Gannon on December 24, 2017 at 11:30pm — 4 Comments

'The Scourge of Tralee': Stalking 'The Major'

Late on Christmas night 1920, Irish Volunteers John Leen (24) and Maurice Reidy (25) stealthily made their way to the home of John Byrne, the creamery manager in Ballymacelligott, County Kerry. The cottage had been raided…

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Added by Joe Gannon on December 3, 2017 at 9:30pm — 6 Comments

The Dromkeen Ambush: Down Into the Mire in County Limerick

On the cool, pleasant night of St. Stephens day, December 26, 1920, over two hundred men and women were dancing, eating and enjoying themselves at Caherguillamore House, three miles northeast of Bruff, in County Limerick. The Martin brothers from Bruff were…

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Added by Joe Gannon on November 13, 2017 at 10:00am — 6 Comments

From Dunkirk to Nagasaki, The Long War of Dr. Aidan MacCarthy

Aidan MacCarthy crouched low in the air raid shelter he and the other prisoners of war had dug themselves. They had seen two American B-29 bombers flying toward the city of Nagasaki before they went into the shelter. A few POWs had stayed outside, though, wanting…

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Added by Joe Gannon on October 13, 2017 at 10:30pm — 5 Comments

The Confederate Monument Issue: Is It Pride or Prejudice?

They have called us Rebels and Traitors,

But themselves have thrown off that name of late;

They were called it by the English Invaders,

At home—in the year of "Ninety-Eight ..."

-- from "Kelly’s Irish Brigade"…

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Added by Joe Gannon on September 26, 2017 at 9:00pm — 4 Comments

The Rineen Ambush: Hell Comes to County Clare

Come all you gallant Irishmen, come listen for a while

I’ll sing to you the praises of the sons of Erin’s Isle

’Tis of an awful, awful ambush I’d have you to beware

That happened in Rineen, in a spot in County Clare.…

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Added by Joe Gannon on September 2, 2017 at 8:30pm — 12 Comments

Valentine Trant McGillycuddy: Crazy Horse's Friend

On a hot September day in 1877 on the Pine Ridge reservation in the Dakota Territory (now South Dakota), a large group of angry Sioux were crowded around the guard house. Writhing in pain on the ground before them, bleeding profusely from his abdomen, lay…

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Added by Joe Gannon on August 7, 2017 at 11:00pm — 7 Comments

'Peg-Leg' Shannon: 'Lost Boy' of the Lewis & Clark Expedition

(“Lewis and Clark at Celilo Falls, Columbia River” from a mural by Frank H. Schwarz)

Nineteen-year-old George Shannon nervously trotted his horse across the flat…

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Added by Joe Gannon on June 21, 2017 at 10:30pm — 6 Comments

The Carrowkennedy Ambush: Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold

It was late afternoon of a…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 20, 2017 at 9:00pm — 7 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: May 14 - May 20

MÁIRT -- On May 15, 1847, The Syria, the first ship to arrive during what Quebecois would call the 'Summer of Sorrow,' landed at the Canadian quarantine station in the St. Lawrence River, just north of Quebec. The French had called…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 13, 2017 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

The St. Patrick's Day Champ: Clare's 'Bold Mike' McTigue

The exhausted Irish boxer stood in the middle of the makeshift boxing ring in the smoke-filled La Scala opera house in Dublin. Sweat was trickling down his face, tinged scarlett with a bit of blood oozing from a cut above his left eye. His chest was…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 9, 2017 at 9:30pm — 7 Comments

1981 Hunger Strikes: On the Threshold of Another Trembling World

Among the most powerless men in the world are those in prisons. Your body no longer belongs to you; it belongs to the state. Every day you are told when to get up, when to go to bed, when you can exercise, when you can see your family, and also, when you…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 5, 2017 at 8:00pm — 5 Comments

Confederate Hero, Dick Dowling: Miracle at Sabine Pass

He stands in bronze and he stands on granite,

Facing the river where the fleet turned tail;

The stone lists the Davis Guards upon it,

Names that rhyme in the songs of the Gael.*…

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Added by Joe Gannon on April 23, 2017 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

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