Joe Gannon's Blog (121)

West Cork’s Hales Family: Giving All for Irish Freedom

Seán Hales, a TD (member of the Dáil Éireann) from County Cork, and Padraig Ó Maile, a TD from County Mayo, emerged from the Ormond Hotel along the north bank of the Liffey River in Dublin at about 2:30 PM on December 7, 1922. Just the day before, the Free State had been formally established by…


Added by Joe Gannon on February 1, 2024 at 12:00am — 3 Comments

Corkman Stephen Moylan: The Man Who First Wrote 'United States of America'

In the late 18th century, the Irish in America were some of the most ardent and loyal supporters of the cause of American independence from British rule. Recent scholarship has put the participation of the Irish and Scots-Irish in Washington’s Army at 40% and possibly more. A few of those…


Added by Joe Gannon on December 10, 2023 at 6:30pm — 5 Comments

The Daughters of Count General Arthur Dillon

Arthur Dillon had quite an incredible, if short, life as an officer in the Irish Brigade of France and later victim of the "Reign of Terror.". He also…


Added by Joe Gannon on October 6, 2023 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Semper Et Ubique Fidelis: The Dillons and the Irish Brigade of France

Oh wild was their rush and exultant their shout,

When the signal to charge from the bugle rang out,—

The fire of their hearts seemed to temper each blade.



Added by Joe Gannon on October 6, 2023 at 7:00pm — 10 Comments

Irish Rebel Maurice Meade: May You Live in Interesting Times

It was around mid-afternoon on February 3, 1921, as the Irish Volunteers of the Mid and East Limerick Brigades emerged onto the road near Dromkeen House in Co. Limerick. The firing at the Dromkeen Ambush had just ended, having only gone on for a few minutes, but the effect on the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) men in the ambushed convoy had been…


Added by Joe Gannon on August 16, 2023 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

William Muldoon: The "Solid Man" Who Tamed John L. Sullivan

John L. Sullivan, heavyweight champion of the world, strode into the bar in the small town of Belfast in western New York state as if he owned it. He had done…


Added by Joe Gannon on May 21, 2023 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

Meath Artist John Mulvany: Painting the "Last Stand"

Walt Whitman removed his wide-brimmed hat and wiped his brow with his handkerchief. The summer of 1881 was hot and humid in New York City, with 22 days hitting 80̈° or more. The 62-year-old had come downtown to see a massive work of art. It was causing a sensation in the few places it had…


Added by Joe Gannon on March 20, 2023 at 12:00pm — 5 Comments

'The Blacksmith' Hammers the Auxies at Clonfin, Longford

Irish Volunteer Paddy "Bug" Callaghan and his two comrades stared up the road to the east as the cool, crisp air of February 2, 1921, caused their breath to fog the air around them. The three members of the North Longford Battalion of the Irish Volunteers were tasked with the most critical job of…


Added by Joe Gannon on January 27, 2023 at 10:30pm — 3 Comments

Dillon’s Cross Ambush and the Burning of Cork City

Volunteer Michael Kenny pulled up the collar of his mackintosh, tightened his scarf, and pulled down his cap against the cold breeze as he stood beside the Old Youghal Road near Dillon’s Cross in Cork City. As the clock neared…


Added by Joe Gannon on December 10, 2022 at 10:00pm — 3 Comments

Corkmen Capture Mallow Barracks

Dick Willis walked up to the Sheehan's farmhouse in Mourneabbey, County Cork, on the pleasant late summer afternoon of Sunday, September 26, 1920. Dick, a member of the Mallow Company of the Cork No. 2 (North) Brigade, could see numerous brigade members from the newly formed brigade…


Added by Joe Gannon on September 25, 2022 at 6:00pm — 2 Comments

Ballymahon Barracks Attack: Arming the Boys of Longford

Seán Connolly and Leo Carter pushed a table into the corner of the upstairs bedroom of the Lloyd family in Ballymahon, Co. Longford. Carter, who stood 6’ 3”, jumped on the table and began to hack at the roof with an ax. It was just past midnight in the early morning hours of August 20,…


Added by Joe Gannon on August 11, 2022 at 9:00pm — 8 Comments

The Listowel Mutiny: 'Shoot on Sight'

Seán Culhane stood across the street from the Cork & County Club Hotel, an Anglo-Irish social club in Cork City. Culhane, the Intelligence Officer, Cork 1 Brigade of the Irish Volunteers, was watching the door, waiting for a sign from his informer, waiter Ned “Bally” Fitzgerald. It was a…


Added by Joe Gannon on July 6, 2022 at 7:30pm — 4 Comments

The Ballymacandy Ambush: 'I Would Not Turn Off My Road For Any Shinner'

It was shortly after 5 pm on the hot afternoon of June 1, 1921, in Milltown, County Kerry when the sharp ringing of the phone shattered the still air of the doctor’s office. Thirty-eight-year-old Dr. Daniel Sheehan, whom many of the…


Added by Joe Gannon on May 26, 2022 at 11:30pm — 5 Comments

John “Don Juan” O’Brien: An Irishman in South America

The hot summer sun beat down on 72-year-old John (Don Juan) O’Brien as he slowly mounted the wooden platform in the Plaza de Armas in Lima, Peru. The Cathedral of Lima (below-left) loomed above the plaza that 28th of July, 1858, just as it had on the same day in 1821. On that day,…


Added by Joe Gannon on April 12, 2022 at 11:00pm — 1 Comment

Seán Treacy at War: Tipperary 'Far Away'

Softly, gently, "Comrade", he cried

"No longer on earth can I stay

I will never more roam through my own native home

Tipperary so far away"…


Added by Joe Gannon on February 8, 2022 at 3:30pm — 6 Comments

World War II Ace Tom Lynch: Chasing Rickenbacker

The beautiful blue water of Aitape Harbor on the northern coast of New Guinea sparkled not far below them as Lieutenant Colonel Tom Lynch and Captain Richard Bong made tight turns to bring their twin-engine P-38 “Lightning” fighters around. They had just made a strafing run on a group of six Japanese barges and left one on fire.…


Added by Joe Gannon on December 5, 2021 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

Champ John L. Sullivan: 'Shake the Hand That Shook the Hand'

As “Gentleman” Jim Corbett walked down the steps toward the ring in the Olympic Club in New Orleans on Wednesday, September 7, 1892, he could see “The Boston Strong Boy,” John L. Sullivan, waiting for him. The smell of cigar smoke hung in the air as the supremely confident Sullivan, who was more…


Added by Joe Gannon on September 23, 2021 at 12:30am — 4 Comments

This Week in the History of the Irish: September 19 - September 25

MÁIRT -- On Sept. 21, 1827, Michael Corcoran (left), a brigadier general in the Federal Army during America's Civil War, was born in Carrowkeel, County Sligo. Corcoran served as a policeman in the…


Added by Joe Gannon on September 18, 2021 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Sarsfield and Hogan: Irish Triumph at Ballyneety

Slowly marching back and forth through the still night air in Ballneety, Co. Limerick, the Williamite sentry standing guard over King Williams siege train blinked and rubbed his sleepy eyes, hoping his relief would be there soon. King William’s army had Limerick under siege, and the eight heavy…


Added by Joe Gannon on August 5, 2021 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

“Paddy” O’Brien and the Rathcoole ambush: Vengeance Is “Mine”

The sun was getting low in the western sky on a sweltering hot Thursday, June 16, 1921, near Rathcoole, County Cork. The Irish Volunteers of what had been the 2nd Cork Brigade, but was now the 4th Cork Brigade, listened and watched intently to their east. “Paddy” O’Brien, who…


Added by Joe Gannon on June 14, 2021 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments

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