Joe Gannon's Blog (112)

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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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"…

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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.…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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

George “McIrish” McElroy: World War One Ace

Three thousand feet above Moreuil Wood, southeast of Amiens, in northern France, Captain George Edward Henry “McIrish” McElroy, peered down through a gap in the clouds. McElroy had already shot down two German Albatross fighter planes in his British S.E. 5a (Scout Experimental-5a) earlier, his…

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Added by Joe Gannon on May 10, 2021 at 10:30pm — 5 Comments

The Real Titanic McCoys: Triumph and Tragedy

Siblings Agnes (29), Alice (26), and Bernard McCoy (24) huddled together on the deck of the Titanic shivering in the cold. It was about 1:15 am on April 15, 1912. They were on the port side of the doomed ship, which now was decidedly tilted toward the bow, causing everyone to lean toward the…

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Added by Joe Gannon on April 8, 2021 at 8:30am — 5 Comments

The Scramogue Ambush: Roscommon Steps Up

Two miles east of Strokestown on Spy Wednesday at the dawn

These Gallant men assembled 'neath the crest of ol' Sliabh Bawn

T'was called the Scramogue Ambush where Captain Peek was shot

But Ashbrook was the venue, right well I know that spot

They conquered their oppressors and filled their hearts with…

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Added by Joe Gannon on March 14, 2021 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

The 1st Brigade Cork Volunteers and the Coolnacahera Ambush

Friday, February 25, 1921, dawned cool and crisp with a crystal clear blue sky near Coolnacahera, County Cork. Seán O’Hegarty, commanding officer of the 1st (East) Cork Brigade, stood on a high hill with numerous limestone outcroppings and peered off into the east, his right…

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Added by Joe Gannon on February 8, 2021 at 10:00pm — 3 Comments

Michael Brennan and East Clare Brigade at the Glenwood Ambush

Michael Brennan waved his arm and called out to the men of the East Clare Flying Column to abandon their positions along the road near Glenwood House in southeast County Clare, about 12 miles north of Limerick City. Like so many ambushes laid by members of the Irish Volunteers during the Irish War…

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Added by Joe Gannon on January 13, 2021 at 2:30pm — 4 Comments

Marcus Daly: The King From Cavan

Fourteen-year-old Marcus Daly sat staring into the hearth of his family’s stone cottage in Derrylea, just outside the town of Ballyjamesduff in County Cavan. Closing his eyes he could still imagine his grandfather, who seemed to be 100 years old when Marcus was a boy, sitting across from…

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Added by Joe Gannon on November 29, 2020 at 9:30pm — 3 Comments

Liam Lynch, Civil War Martyr: “It never should have happened”

It was a lovely spring morning in the foothills of the Knockmealdown Mountains in southern County Tipperary on April 10, 1923. Six members of the Irish Republican Army, then engaged in the Irish Civil War against the Free State…

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Added by Joe Gannon on October 17, 2020 at 7:00pm — 10 Comments

Mike “King” Kelly: Baseball’s First Superstar

It was a sunny, hot September afternoon in 1887 at the South End Grounds baseball stadium in Boston. Mike “King” Kelly, the player-manager of the Boston Beaneaters, sitting on the bench, wiped the sweat off his brow with his sleeve as he watched his pitcher,…

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Added by Joe Gannon on September 7, 2020 at 6:00pm — 5 Comments

Tipperary’s Dan Breen: The Hardest Hard Man

Dan Breen was startled awake from his dozing slumber by the sound of tramping feet. The small room suddenly flashed to near daylight as a spotlight played across the window looking out to the back of the house. Breen leaped to his feet and grabbed his Mauser pistol off the chair where he had left…

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Added by Joe Gannon on August 6, 2020 at 7:30pm — 3 Comments

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