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1916 myths debunked by some elementary family research

In this the year of the 100th anniversary of The Easter Rising it’s still amazing what some simple genealogical research can reveal about a 1916 executed leader

I can now thwart the myth about Michael O’Hanrahan/Míceál Ó hAnnrachain’s birthday.

For close to 100 years historians and the patriot propagandists have perpetuated a myth about the date of birth of the Irish Volunteers’ quartermaster general.

According to the many history books and historical accounts of his life, Michael O’Hanrahan/Míceál Ó hAnnrachain, who grew up in Carlow’s Tullow Street, was born in New Ross on St Patrick’s Day 1877.

Even the rebellion’s descendants believed this myth until recently. But this is not true and the executed Rising’s leader’s official birth certificate, unearthed last year by myself and Pearse O’Hanrahan, the grand nephew of Míceál Ó hAnnrachain at the archives of The General Records Office in Dublin, proves that.

The birth certificate clearly states that Michael O’Hanrahan was born in The Quays area of New Ross, County Wexford to Richard Hanrahan and Mary Hanrahan nee Williams on January 16 1877.

According to the rate books of the era, the family lived at 2 Marsh Lane just off the quays in New Ross at the time.

It’s amazing what a simple piece of family research can reveal.

Paul Horan

Asst Professor

Trinity College Dublin

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