Death of Cork Lord Mayor Terence McSwiney – Olympic Hero Peter O’Connor – Congressional Medal of Honor Winner

October 25: TODAY in Irish History:

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Terence McSwiney

Cork Lord Mayor Terence McSwiney

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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1864: Joseph Keele, Congressional Medal of Honor

Irish born Joseph Keele is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

His citation reads:

Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 182d New York Infantry. Place and date: At North Anna River, Va., 23 May 1864. Entered service at: Staten Island, N.Y. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 25 October 1867. Citation: Voluntarily and at the risk of his life carried orders to the brigade commander, which resulted in saving the works his regiment was defending.





1872: Birth of Athlete Peter O’Connor

All but forgotten today, Peter O’Connor was a remarkable character who thumbed his nose at Britain after winning gold medals in that country’s colors.


Peter O'Connor Irish Olympian
Peter O’Connor 1872-1957


Wikipedia writes:

“Born in Millom, Cumberland, England on 24 October 1872, O’Connor grew up in Wicklow, County Wicklow, Ireland. He joined the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in 1896. In 1899 he won All-Ireland medals in long jump, high jump and hop, step and jump (triple jump). Over the next ten years he consistently beat British athletes in international competitions. The (British) Amateur Athletic Association invited him to represent Britain in the Olympic Games in 1900, but he refused as he only wished to represent Ireland.

O’Connor traveled to Athens in 1906 to represent Ireland in what were known as the Intercalated Olympic Games. As Ireland was not an independent nation, he was forced to represent Britain. Following his victory in the Hop, Step and Jump, he climbed the Olympic flagpole and waved an Irish flag!”


Peter O'Connor Irish Athlete olympian

Source: Mark Quinn, The King of Spring: the Life and Times of Peter O’Connor


READ: Peter O’Connor




1921: Death of Cork Lord Mayor Terence McSwiney on Hunger Strike

Terence McSwiney on this day in Irish history


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

McSwiney was Sinn Fein Lord Mayor of Cork during the War of Independence. After his arrest in 1920 for sedition, he went on hunger strike in Brixton Jail, England. A botched effort to force feed him hastened his death after 74 days. His funeral in Cork was viewed by over 100,000 people. McSwiney was confident “that my death will do more to smash the British Empire than my release.” His death energized an already emotional anti-British population.

Terence McSwiney Cork Lord Mayor
Memorial Card Terence McSwiney



FREE DOWNLOAD: Principles of Freedom at Project Gutenberg.




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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