Kilmichael Ambush, MacCurtain and McSwiney commemorated on video

November 26th, 2020 2:27 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

The Kilmichael ambush monument.

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CORK County Council has undertaken two documentaries as part of its Decade of Centenaries Commemorative Programme to remember The Kilmichael Ambush and two of Cork’s revolutionaries, Tomás MacCurtáin and Terence McSwiney.

The documentary videos, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, will be released on Cork County Council’s YouTube channel tomorrow, Friday, November 27th.

November 28th, 2020 marks the centenary of the Kilmichael Ambush, a pivotal event in the War of Independence for Cork County and City and for the emerging nation as a whole. The ambush, led by Tom Barry as commander of the West Cork Brigade’s Flying Column, saw 20 fatalities, one of the highest number of casualties at any singular event in Ireland during the War of Independence.

Tomás MacCurtáin and Terence McSwiney both held the office of the Lord Mayor of Cork City. While holding the office, MacCurtáin was assassinated by the Royal Irish Constabulary, and McSwiney, his successor and friend, died in prison on hunger strike in protest at his internment and trial as a civilian by a military court. These events sent shockwaves throughout the world and would influence future revolutionaries such as Mahatma Gandhi. The documentary will explore the ties of these important figures to the County of Cork.

County mayor Cllr Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the new documentaries.

‘The wealth of cultural heritage in Cork County that we have today is thanks to generations of historians, archaeologists and ordinary people whose dedicated work throughout the years has enriched our understanding of our history,’ she said. ‘While these commemorations acknowledge the contributions of great individuals like Tomás MacCurtáin, Terence McSwiney and Tom Barry, it’s important we remember the significant community and voluntary work that has gone into enabling us, one hundred years later, to continue to learn about our history.

'Cork County Council’s Commemorations Committee and Commemoration Grant Schemes will continue to support this work, so that future generations, both at home and our diaspora across the globe, will benefit from these resources and connections to our past. This year, circumstances sadly prevent us from coming together physically in commemoration. These videos will bring us together while apart and inform our understanding of our shared history and heritage.'

Cork County Council is also proud to support The Crossbarry and Kilmichael Commemoration Committee in delivering a commemoration event over Zoom at 7pm on Saturday, November 28th 2020. The talk will feature Jack Lane of Aubane Historical Society delivering ‘Lessons of the Kilmichael Ambush and reflections on the War of Independence’ followed by an online public meeting at 9pm.

Those interested in taking part can find the links to the meetings on the Heritage Section of


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