MacSwiney letter snapped up by Cork Archives

A previously unknown letter written by a Cork lord mayor who died on hunger strike in a British jail has been sold to the Cork City and County Archives.

Terence MacSwiney’s letter was sold for an undisclosed sum in advance of auction in Bandon, West Cork, last night. It had been expected that it could fetch up to €2,000 on open market.

The letter, which he penned while interred at Richmond Barracks after the 1916 Easter Rising, came to light as part of a routine valuation of a family collection by West Cork antiques dealer Ted Hegarty.

MacSwiney had written to the Keyes McDonnell family to thank them for their support.

Also discovered in the collection was a sketchbook of Walter Osborne drawings which has not been seen in public since it was presented by the artist’s father-in-law, Professor Stockley, to fellow artist William Keyes McDonnell in 1935. It sold to a Dublin buyer for €3,400.

A letter from Lord Asquith relating to the Easter Rising sold to another Dublin buyer for €340 while a copy of the book Guerilla Days in Ireland, with a personal inscription by Tom Barry was bought by somebody from Cork for €520.

Letters from Lady Beaverbrook relating to the Rising, various Irish republican memorabilia, and medals were also auctioned.

The Keyes McDonnell family, based at Castlelack near Bandon, Co Cork, played a key role in Ireland’s struggle for independence.

William and his wife, Kathleen, were closely associated with the former lords mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney and Tomás MacCurtain.

William organised the first Irish volunteer battalions in Kilpatrick and Bandon, under direction from Eoin MacNeill.

MacSwiney, born in Kilmurry in 1879, wrote several plays. His writings in the Irish Freedom newspaper brought him to the attention of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, which led to his involvement with the Irish Volunteers, Sinn Féin, and the struggle for freedom.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Limerick mother's misunderstanding leads to space-age drone breakthrough

Mum and daughter drowned in flooded field after crash

Graham Norton’s tweet goes global but West Cork neighbour sells home to Irish buyer

‘I lost my only son. I see everything as being over’


You might also like

Breaking Stories

Juvenile arrested follow €420k heroin seizure

Gardaí to dig up Dublin garden in search of remains of two babies after historical abuse claims

Fianna Fáil emerges with most elected seats in the Seanad

Fianna Fáil TD questions legality of refunding water bills

Lifestyle

Looking back at Corcadorca's influence on theatre in Cork and beyond

Actress Marie Nic Shiubhlaigh played an important role in the Easter Rising

Ask Audrey has been sorting out Cork people for years

Can this humble syrup ward off Alzheimer’s Disease?

More From The Irish Examiner