UCC public lecture to remember Amhrán na bhFiann composer

The composer of Ireland's national anthem is to be remembered in a free public lecture at UCC tomorrow evening. 

Peadar Kearney will be the subject of a talk given by his grandson Professor Colbert Kearney.

Kearney suffered hardship in later life and is said to have been disappointed with the Free State government’s abandonment of republican ideals following 1916 and suffered forms of depression.

“Those familiar with the story of Peadar Kearney, while welcoming this tribute, could not help regretting that such public recognition came so late. Having dedicated his early life to struggle for independence, Peadar Kearney spent the years after independence in relative poverty and ill-health.  

"He received a paltry pension for his military contribution and had to campaign for almost ten years to have the de facto national anthem given de jure status in 1934,” commented Mr Kearney, Professor Emeritus of English at UCC.

“A member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, he sought to leave no trace of his subversive activities, avoiding publicity, uniforms and high rank. Despite this, there is sufficient evidence to show that he was close to Tom Clarke and Sean McDermott in the preparations for 1916 and to Michael Collins in the War of Independence.  Unfortunately for him, most of his influential comrades were executed or died in action and Free State politicians were slow to come to his aid.”

Colbert Kearney, Professor Emeritus of English at UCC, is the author of The Writings of Brendan Behan, the Seán O’Casey study The Glamour of Grammar, and The Consequence.

Peadar Kearney: A Soldier’s Song at the Ground Floor Lecture Theatre of UCC’s Geology and Geography Building (beside the Honan Chapel) tomorrow at 6pm.

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