West Cork to honour 1916 heroes

Some are household names, others have been overlooked but a move is on to honour, as a group, all those from the West Cork region who fought in Dublin during the Easter Rising.

Cork County Council is examining the possibility of erecting a memorial to 10 men from the region who were involved in the uprising in the capital.

Councillors have said a memorial garden near the model railway village station in Clonakilty may be an appropriate location.

While Michael Collins, from Woodfield near Clonakilty, and Sean Hurley from Drinagh — the only Corkman to die in the Dublin action — are already being honoured at some events, other participants have been overlooked — up until now. Historians have forwarded the name of eight others to the council. They are:

  • Con O’Donovan, born in Casheliskey near Clonakilty, who fought under Commandant Edward Daly in the Four Courts;
  • Gearóid O’Sullivan, born in Coolnagurrane near Skibbereen, who raised the Irish Flag over the GPO at the start of the Rising;
  • Sean Hayes from Glandore, who fought in the GPO and later became a TD;
  • Dan McCarthy, born Main St in Dunmanway;
  • Joe O’Reilly, born in Bantry in 1893, fought in the GPO and later became Michael Collins’ right-hand man;
  • Diarmuid O’Hegarty from Schull;
  • Diarmuid O’Shea, born at Reenmeen, Glengarriff;
  • JJ Walsh, born Rathroon near Bandon in 1880, who fought in the GPO. He later became Minster for Post and Telegraphs.

Fine Gael councillor Noel O’Donovan was the first to propose a memorial to the men, and pointed out he was related to Sean Hayes.

“I think we should honour them all somewhere together to make people think back to their sacrifices,” he said.

Fianna Fáil councillor Pat Murphy said the council needed to take control of organising a commemorative monument or plaques.

“I’d like us to bring together some local historians and get a working group formed to progress it,” he said.

Officials are writing to local history groups seeking information about those who took part in the Rising.

Enjoyed this? Then check out our dedicated micro-site, developed in collaboration with UCC, to mark the revolutionary period HERE

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