Execution Kevin Barry – St. Oliver Plunkett – GAA Founded

November 1: TODAY in Irish History:

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Kevin Barry Irish Rebel

Irish rebel Kevin Barry

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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1629: Birth of St. Oliver Plunkett, Loughcrew Co. Meath.

Oliver Plunkett was the last Catholic martyr to be executed for his faith. As Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland he was hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, London for High Treason. The charge is generally accepted to have been a trumped up one and his main “crime” was he was an activist Catholic who refused to accept Protestant doctrine. He was the last Catholic martyr in England. Beatified in 1920, on October 12, 1975, he was canonized by the Catholic Church as a result of miracles associated with him. He was the first Irish saint in over 700 years.

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catholic martyr oliver plunkett

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READ: Pope Paul VI Canonization homily of Oliver Plunkett

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1884: GAA is founded

Michael Cusack convenes the first meeting of the ‘Gaelic Athletic Association for the Preservation and Cultivation of national Pastimes’ in Hayes’s Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Cusack could never have envisioned that the GAA would develop into the largest amateur sports organization in the world. His legacy can be viewed every September when more than 70,000 fans pack into Croke Park to see the All-Ireland Hurling and Football finals.

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Michael Cusack GAA founder citizen in Ulysess
Michael Cusack 1847-1906

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James Joyce biographers believe that “Citizen” in Ulysess is based on Michael Cusack. “The figure seated on a large boulder at the foot of a round tower was that of a broadshouldered deepchested stronglimbed frankeyed redhaired freelyfreckled shaggybearded widemouthed largenosed longheaded deepvoiced barekneed brawnyhanded hairylegged ruddyfaced sinewyarmed hero.”

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READ : Michael Cusack and the GAA at National Library of Ireland

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192o: Execution of Kevin Barry

Eighteen year old medical student Kevin Barry is executed following an ambush on British troops in Dublin in which one soldier is killed. His youth and the fact that he was the first Irish rebel to be executed by Britain since the 1916 executions ensured his place in Irish history.

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Kevin Barry Irish Rebel
Kevin Barry 1902-1920. Here in Belveder College Rugby shirt

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Undoubtedly a brave young man, he is often seen through heroic rose tinted glasses as for instance in this Wikipedia reference. “On the morning of 20 September 1920, Kevin Barry went to Mass, and received Holy Communion; he then joined a party of IRA volunteers on Bolton Street in Dublin. Their orders were to ambush a British army truck as it picked up a delivery of bread from the bakery, and capture their weapons. The ambush was scheduled for 11:00 A.M., which gave him enough time to take part in the operation and return to class in time for an examination he had at 2:00 P.M.”

Barry is also commemorated in an eponymously titled song that every Irish school boy had drilled into him by the Christian Brothers. The song has been covered by numerous Irish bands including Wolfe Tones and the Dubliners.

This version of Kevin Barry by Leonard Cohen lacks the passion of an Irish band, but in its own way is a soulful rendition by a man who can sing about pain and despair as well as any Irishman.

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Leonard Cohen sings Kevin Barry

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READ: Detailed Profile of Kevin Barry

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1993: Maastrcht Treaty

The Maastricht Treaty came into effect, formally establishing the European Union (EU). The treaty was signed on Ireland’s behalf by Foreign Minister Gerry Collins and Finance Minister Bertie Ahern on February 7 1992.

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Gerry Collins, Bertie Ahern sign Maastricht Treaty
Gerry Collins, Bertie Ahern sign Maastricht Treaty

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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

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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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