Joe Gannon's Blog (51)

Irish War of Independence: The Lispole Ambush, Avoiding Disaster on the Dingle Peninsula

If you ever drive down the south side of the beautiful and scenic Dingle Peninsula in Co. Kerry, as I did with my wife, brother and sister-in-law last June (and everyone should, at least one in their lives), you will pass through the small village of Lispole…

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Added by Joe Gannon on March 20, 2017 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments

Westward, Ho! John J. Healy, Montana Pioneer

(Above: "When Wagon Trails Were Dim," Charles Russell's depiction of a wagon train in the American west.)

Many men and women with Irish roots participated in the “winning” of…

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Added by Joe Gannon on March 14, 2017 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

The Battle of Crossbarry: ... 'Who Piped Old Ireland Free'

They sought to wipe the column out,

From east to west, from north to south,

“Till at Crossbarry’s bloody rout

The woke from their day dreaming

Though ten to one they were that day

Our boys were…

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Added by Joe Gannon on February 10, 2017 at 10:30am — 9 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: January 22 - January 28

DEARDAOIN - January 22, 1760, at Wandewash, India, General Thomas Arthur Comte de Lally's French army, including his regiment of the…

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Added by Joe Gannon on January 21, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Mayo's Robert Horatio George Minty: Past Imperfect Hero

I see the long, blue line, push back the rebel pickets

Far stretched o’er hill and dale; through break and thickets.

My old heart leaps

As up the steeps

Rock-crowned and flinty:

I see the…

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Added by Joe Gannon on January 14, 2017 at 9:30am — 9 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: December 25 - December 31

DOMHNAIGH -- On Dec. 25, 1808, Stephen Clegg Rowan who would serve in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War and later be…

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Added by Joe Gannon on December 24, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Mayo's Father Andrew Conroy: Martyr of the 1798 Rising

There’s many a lonely hearth-stone tonight in wide Mayo,

There’s many a gallant heart content again can never know

But darkest woe and grief for him the saintly true and tried,

Who on the Saxon scaffold that day for freedom died.

         --  From “The…

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Added by Joe Gannon on November 26, 2016 at 7:00pm — 3 Comments

'In Harm’s Way': America’s Greatest Submarine Commander

Richard Hetherington O'Kane (below-right, in his Annapolis graduation photo) was born on February 2, 1911 in Dover, New Hampshire, a town near the Atlantic coast with a population of about 13,000 at the time. His father, Dr. Walter Collins O'Kane, was a…

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Added by Joe Gannon on October 11, 2016 at 8:30pm — 2 Comments

Gustavus Conyngham, USN: The “Dunkirk Pirate” from Donegal

Gustavus Conyngham is known to history as the “Dunkirk Pirate,” but that was the name the British gave him. It was not a name that he ever would have given himself. He thought of himself only as, Gustavus Conyngham, USN (United States Navy). He was never, in…

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Added by Joe Gannon on September 6, 2016 at 11:00pm — 9 Comments

General Phil Kearny: 'The One-Armed Devil'

Unlike most other Irish and Irish-Americans who fought in the American Civil War, Philip Kearny was born in to a prominent and affluent family in New York City on June 1, 1815. The Kearny name, quite appropriately, came from the Gaelic "O Catharnaigh,"…

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Added by Joe Gannon on August 11, 2016 at 7:00am — 1 Comment

'Mary Boyle - The Untold Story'



Here is the trailer for a documentary written and directed by Gemma O'Doherty about the case of Ireland's…

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Added by Joe Gannon on July 11, 2016 at 5:30pm — 4 Comments

Patrick White: A Clareman's Tragic Death on Spike Island

On our vacation in Ireland in June 2015 we took the boat trip out to Spike Island in Cobh harbor in Co. Cork. Cobh is famous as last port of call of the Titanic. Spike Island is most often mentioned in Irish history as a place where many Irish political…

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Added by Joe Gannon on June 22, 2016 at 8:30am — 7 Comments

Tom Barry: 'We May Have Great Men, But We’ll Never Have Better'

When it came to the grand plan of how the Irish, with their meager resources, could defeat the forces of the greatest empire on earth in the Irish War of Independence, Michael Collins was the great architect who drew up the “flying column” blue print. But…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 31, 2016 at 10:00pm — 12 Comments

Winfield Scott: Defender of Irish Rights ... Once

Winfield Scott is well known as the hero of the Mexican War and as the over all commander of Federal forces during the beginning of the Civil War. Few have heard much about his experiences in the War of 1812, however. One…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 26, 2016 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments

The Kilmeena Ambush, May 19, 1921: Seeds of Victory in a Defeat

In the early part of the Irish War of Independence there had not been any major ambushes of Crown forces in County Mayo, unlike several other counties, notably County Cork. However, in May 1921, the Irish Volunteers began to…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 18, 2016 at 9:00pm — 3 Comments

Blessed William Tirry: Priest & Martyr

In the centuries after Christianity came to Ireland, when the only Christian Church was the Roman Catholic Church, it thrived there. In the Dark Ages it was monks from Ireland, "the island of saints and scholars," studying in Ireland and then moving out around Europe…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 12, 2016 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment

Mary Brady: Angel of the Battlefield

There are perhaps no participants in war who see more of the agony and despair that it brings to humanity than the doctors and nurses who tend to its physically and mentally broken combatants. During the American Civil War, many women with no medical background took up…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 3, 2016 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Ireland's Tithe War: Income for Protestant Clergy With Steep Price

"There are many noble traits in the Irish character, mixed with failings which have always raised obstacles to their own well-being; but an innate love of justice, and an indomitable hatred of oppression, is like a gem upon the front of our nation which no…

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Added by Joe Gannon on April 27, 2016 at 9:00pm — 5 Comments

Remembering the Great Hunger Commemoration at Grosse île

In 1997, during the 150th anniversary of "Black '47," the worst year of the Great Hunger, many commemorations were held all around Ireland and the Irish Diaspora. I attended one of them on Grosse île and wrote the following about that experience.…

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Added by Joe Gannon on April 17, 2016 at 9:00pm — 2 Comments

On April 17, 1949, the Irish Republic Declared

Added by Joe Gannon on April 17, 2016 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

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