GUBU! Chaplain Willie Doyle. Terence McSwiney Court-martial on this day in Irish History

August 16: TODAY in Irish History:


Today in Irish History: Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Chicago Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.


For the Love of Being Irish

BUY Author signed copy of For the Love of Being Irish For a unique perspective on Ireland featuring History and Humor.


August 16: TODAY in Irish History:

1917: Death of Jesuit Chaplin Father Willie Doyle (b. Dalkey Co. Dublin 1873) at the Battle of Passchendaele. Doyle appears to have been a remarkable man respected by not just the Catholic troops he served with but also the Protestant Northern Irish soldiers many of whom despised anything to do with the Catholic faith.


Father William "Willie" Doyle

Father William “Willie” Doyle    1873-1917


Doyle served with Irish regiments in WWI including 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, participating in the Battles of the Somme, Messines and Passchendaele.

Writing of the man who was awarded the Military Cross for bravery during the assault on the village of Ginchy , General Hickie, the commander-in-chief of the 16th (Irish) Division said “Fr. Doyle was one of the best priests I have ever met, and one of the bravest men who have fought or worked out here. He did his duty, and more than his duty, most nobly, and has left a memory and a name behind him that will never be forgotten. On the day of his death, i6th August, he had worked in the front line, and even in front of that line, and appeared to know no fatigue — he never knew fear. He was killed by a shell towards the close of the day, and was buried on the Frezenberg Ridge. . . . He was recommended for the Victoria Cross by his Commanding Officer, by his Brigadier, and by myself. Superior Authority, however, has not granted it, and as no other posthumous reward is given, his name will, I believe, be mentioned in the Commander-in- Chief ‘s Despatch. . . . I can say without boasting that this is a Division of brave men ; and even among these, Fr. Doyle stood out.”

Free DOWNLOAD: Alfred O’Rahilly’s memoir of Father William Doyle SJ

Doyle’s writings on faith and spirituality provide interesting perspective on his life and times.

Free DOWNLOAD:  A Year’s Thoughts – The Writings of William Doyle


1920: Court-martial of Terence McSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork for possession of seditious articles and documents. Sentenced to two years imprisonment in Brixton Prison, England, he started a hunger strike. He would die on October 25th after efforts to forcibly feed him went wrong.


Terence McSwiney on this day in Irish history


The above image is from PRINCIPLES of FREEDOM, by Terence McSwiney, published after his death.

FREE DOWNLOAD of Principles of Freedom at Project Gutenberg.


1982: Irish Attorney General Patrick Connolly resigns after Malcolm McArthur, wanted for (and later convicted of) murder is found to be his house guest. Connolly was completely unaware of McArthur’s activities.

The fallout from the incident led to one of the most famous acronyms in Irish politics. The much reviled (and correspondingly much loved) Taoiseach Charles Haughey described the incident as “a bizarre happening, an unprecedented situation, a grotesque situation, an almost unbelievable mischance.” Conor Cruise O’Brien, one of Haughey’s political opponents who despised the most corrupt Taoiseach in Irish history (this is not to suggest any others who held the office were corrupt) coined the phrase GUBU – Grotesque, Unprecedented, Bizarre, Unbelievable to describe not just what happened but Haughey’s overall carry on.

SEE:  What Does 30 Years in Prison Look Like?


Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

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For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson is an A-Z of all things Irish. This is a book that contains History, Horror, Humor, Passion, Pathos and Lyrical Limericks that will have you giving thanks (or wishing you were) For the Love of Being Irish

Watch For the Love of Being Irish author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks on his Youtube channel IrishmanSpeaks. Laugh and Learn.


This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

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