Chief O’Neill, The Man who Saved Irish Music – Michael Collins Funeral – Liam O’Flaherty

August 28: TODAY in Irish History:

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Chief Francis O’Neill

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.



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1848: Cheif Francis O’Neill

Francis O’Neill, The Police Chief Who Saved Irish Music is born near Bantry, Co.Cork. After emigrating to the United States, he joined the Chicago police force in 1873, eventually serving as Chief of Police from1901-1905.



Chief O’Neill had a strong interest in Irish music from his childhood, an Irish music and tradition that was in real danger of being lost as the Irish diaspora melded into other societies. During his time in the police force, where apparently Irish musicians were made feel particularly welcome, and after he made strenuous efforts to recover and record details of the Irish music tradition.

Wikipedia cites his musical works to include:

•             O’Neill’s Music of Ireland (1903), containing 1,850 pieces of music

•             The Dance Music of Ireland (1907), sometimes called, “O’Neill’s 1001,” because of the number of tunes included

•             400 tunes arranged for piano and violin (1915)

•             Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (1922), 365 pieces

•             Irish Folk Music: A Fascinating Hobby (1910). Appendix A contains O’Farrells Treatise and Instructions on the Irish Pipes, published 1797-1800; appendix B is Hints to Amateur Pipers by Patrick J. Touhy.

•             Irish Minstrels and Musicians (1913), biographies of musicians, including those from whom he collected tunes in Chicago.

The Dunn Family Collection contains a large number of recordings made by O’Neill. “They form part of the dawn of the era of sound recording in Irish traditional music and constitute an important element of the first sonic evidence documenting the music styles and repertories in Irish traditional music.”


Patrick Touhey Irish Fiddler at today in Irish History
O’Neill’s recordings of Patrick Touhey are in Dunn Family Collection






1896: Liam O’Flaherty

Birth of novelist Liam O’Flaherty on the tiny Aran island of Inishmore.

Liam O'Flaherty Best Irish Novelists and books
Liam O’Flaherty 1896-1984


O’Flaherty’s novels include Thy Neighbour’s Wife (1923), The Informer (1925 which John Ford made into a film in  1935), Skerrett (1932), Famine (1937), and Insurrection (1950).

Short story collections from one of Ireland’s finest writers include The Short Stories of Liam O’Flaherty, Two Lovely Beasts and Other Stories, The Pedlar’s Revenge and Other Stories.

Trailer for John Ford’s THE INFORMER




1922: Funeral of Michael Collins

Michael Collins is buried in Glasnevin Cemetary Dublin. The seven mile journey from Dublin’s pro-cathedral to the Big Fella’s final resting place was lined with (the New York Times reported) half a million mourners, many of whom, would have differed with him on his Treaty vote.







WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish


This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – 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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