IrelandsLeadingChurchman Irelands---Leading---Churchman

Irelands Leading Churchman, during the Troubles

This story i have retyped from an old phamplet, in danger of falling apart, and the story lost for ever. this little book , Given to me Oliver Kane by my Uncle in California. Monsignor Thomas Francis Maher. Of Upland's Los Angeles. He being Nephew of Cannon W O'Kennedy,Which makes me a grand nephew. of Cannon William O' Kennedy. he being my grandmothers brother;
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THE ABOVE GAELIC SCRIPT IS OF A NOTE WRITTEN BY THE CANNON DURING HIS INCARCERATION IN BEARA PRISON' WEST CORK ..
TRANSLATION....Heroic is the man who makes the great effort and still survives, one of these is S. O'C health and long life to him. Liam Kennedy, priest/canon and president of St Flannans College in Ennis Co Clare on Beara 7 Oct 1921.
A Special thanks to Clare Cronin..Historian. Who contacted me during March 2015. and e-mailed me the above writings of the Cannon' praising her own grandfather during his historic hunger strike in Cork jail.


A suggestion made to me by Monsignor Maxwell P.P., Killaloe who was President of St Flannan's College, led to have this story published. I am deeply indebted to Monsignor M Hamilton P.P.V.F., Nenagh ( who was a fellow Professor of Canon O' Kennedy at St Flannan's and assisted him in his national activities) for all the assistance and encouragement i received from him. I also wish to express my indebtedness to Mr Dan Kennedy and to Rev, Sean O' Hogan, C.C., of St Flannan's College as well as to my nephews and namesake.
Aod O Naicir ( Hugh O' Heir ) 23/1/1962

Foreword By Rev. Monsignor M Hamilton, P.P., V.F.

The story of Ireland's resistance to British rule from the Insurrection of 1916 to the Treaty of 1921 has not been fully nor adequately written. Many of the exciting episodes of those grim, yet glorious, days have been forgotten; many of the heroes of the campaign have passed into the anonymity of unrecorded history. A detailed record, county by county and parish by parish, of the countless incidents that made up the history of those days is the only means of presenting to the present or to a future generation a picture of what the nation achieved and endured in the reaction to the ever increasing intensity of the repression by which the imperial government sought to maintain even a semblance of domination over this country.

The anger of the people was aroused by the execution of the leaders of the rising of 1916, just as their sympathy was being awakened to the ideals that inspired it. In speeches, ballads, and in displays of rebel flags and tokens the British were reviled and condemned ; arrests and imprisonments followed and these in turn led to wanted people going " on the run ".

Defence led to attack and gradually the " Flying Column " came into being. Today they would be called commandos. History was made in Cork when the leader of the East Clare Brigade refused to recognise the authority of British courts to try prisoners.

The meeting of the first Dail in January 1919, gave the nation a de jure if not a de facto government. Hunger strikes became a recognised form of resistance to imprisonment and world wide interest, even sympathy, was evoked by the 70-day agony of Terence McSweeney.

The Sinn Fein movement had grown from insignificant numbers to a nation wide organisation. It's policy was a national policy even though there still remained many who retained their faith in constitutional aims and methods. It was implemented on the military side by attacks and ambushes on Crown Forces, and in civil life by the establishment by An Dail of departments of Local Government and of Justice, and general non co-operation with the routine of British rule.

The final effort to stem the tide was in the introduction of the Black and Tans,And of Auxiliaries in a desperate hope that brute force, the indiscriminate shooting of defenceless individuals, the burning of homes and even of towns would terrorise the people into repudiation of Sinn Fein and force them to sue for mercy. It was the repercussion of these atrocities that stirred public opinion in England, and it was a moral if not a military victory that the British Government with its empire strength proposed a truce to the severely harassed members of the Irish Government in Dail Eireann.

Throughout the entire period it was a question of action and reaction in the tide of events. Men were forthcoming in every part of Ireland to meet each problem with determination of mind and originality of method. Many accounts have been given of the military events, the Volunteers and their activities, but in the ultimate analysis, it was largely the civil aspect of the Sinn Fein movement that enabled to its eventual victory. Unfortunately that phrase of the nation resistance has not had due recognition.

There was full understanding and co-operation between the groups that represented the military and the civil authorities. Very often that represented the military leaders engaged in the administration of Sinn Fein Courts, and acted as members of local authorities; where they made arrangements for the collection of rates which could no longer be done through normal channels.

Public Officials played a noble part in Sinn Fein Administration. In fact these and other civilians frequently were in as much or more danger than the actual fighting men. Communications were maintained under extreme difficulty and with serious risk between the most remote parts of the country and the headquarters of the military and civil administrations. Such work was frequently done through people engaged in the normal routine of life.

In this respect due tribute has scarcely been paid to the wholehearted co-operation of the workers on the railway systems. Into this catalogue of an ever increasing defiance of Crown Forces with a corresponding increase in the peril involved fit the names of many local leaders and enthusiasts who carried out the Sinn Fein policy in practice and figured in innumerable activities. An outstanding example of what was achieved by thousands, both laity and clergy, in most every district in Ireland is to be found in what was accomplished by the Very Rev. Cannon O'Kennedy of Ennis, who was the spear head of Sinn Fein in Co Clare during the struggle for independance.

Only those who knew Canon O'Kennedy at close range can realise his utter dedication to the Sinn Fein Policy. His was strong personality that impressed itself upon his listeners at the hundreds of meetings which he addressed in almost all parts of the County Clare, In the Civil Sphere, whose Cheif Executive Officer he was, he exercised a dominating influence in every aspect of the campaign against aggression.

As a Professor, he was a recognised exponent of the classics, and took a deep interest in the spiritual, educational and national development of his students, he played with us in the hurling field, and i the handball court, and it was largely due to his inspiration that Irish was used so extensively in the playing fields of St Flannan,s.

When he became President of the college in 1919, he was deeply immersed in the national movement, and it is difficult to realise how he could devote so much time and energy to public affairs and yet reserve his main concern for the College and its interest's. He initiated there a programme of development which is still in progress. The introduction of electricity; the provision of a much needed recreation hall; and the installation of shower baths are but some of the improvement he effected, and with an instinctive love of the land he was responsible for the early stages of the development of St Flannan's College into an agriculturally self-supporting institution.

In this sketch we are told by one who through active participation is fully conversant with them, all the outstanding events in which the Cannon was a leading figure, such as the East Clare Election of 1917, the work in connection with the Dail Loan in Clare in which the Cannon was in constant personal contact with Michael Collins; the Sinn Fein Courts at which he frequently presided; and his eventual arrest while he was engaged on the Diocesan Retreat, which resulted in his detention for six months at Bere Island. He helped to minimise the effect of martial law in Clare and to offset the intended isolation of the County. He was instrumental in having a Sinn Fein Currency issued in order to enable farmers to dispose of the products that could not be brought to fairs and markets. He was largely responsible for the establishment of a Land Court to deal with various agrarian problems arising out of " the troubled times ".

When the collection of rates was taken over by the Volunteers from the normal Local Government Channels, the College was a repository and from there the monies for public main- tenance were paid out to the County Council Officers as required, and arranged by secret code. He taught his classes and attended to College Administration every day, and in the evening it was not uncommon to see him set forth on horseback on one of his many missions. On half days he attended at Sinn Fein meetings or presided at a Sinn Fein Court, while on Sundays he spoke at public meetings,

At one time to organise the White Cross which was established to relieve those who had suffered from the burnings or destruction, or worse still, from killings by Black and Tans; at another time to advocate support for the National Loan. It was in no small measure due to his eloquence and energy that Clare led Ireland in its contribution to the national fund. The entire subscriptions from the then East Clare passed through his hands and the records are still amongst his papers. The constant danger of a raid on the College- it was actually raided by Military Black and Tans on St Flannan's Night,1920- rendered this a hazardous matter and it was in moments of anxiety that thousands and thousands of pounds were checked, counted and consigned to hiding places before the ultimate transfer to Micheal Collins. He was in the counsels of the leaders of practically every phase of the struggle, both civil and military, apart from schemes of his own initiation,

There were constant callers at the College for advice direction or for the making of decisions. One result of that aspect of things was the students of those days had the privilege of being addressed by personalities as President DeValera;W T Cosgrove;Arthur Griffith; Cathal Brugh;Richard Mulcahy; Brian O'Higgins and Sean Muirthile, names indelibly inscribed in the annals of the nation, Other visitors that spring to memory were our former President, Sean T O Ceallaigh; Tainiste Sean McEntee; the late Sean Milroy, ect, as well as Lieutenant General Micheal Brennan and various other local leaders.

The strain of incessant action and varied involvements told on his physical and mental energy. When his inevitable arrest took place in July 1921. only a few days before the Truce,

He was tired man and it required only the privation of internment--often in solitary confinement-- to break his iron constitution, Indeed were it not for the devoted and much Appreciated attentions of his fellow prisoners--notably An Seabhac--it is doubthfull if he would have survived the ordeal of captivity. He was released " on Parole " in December, 1921, just as the Treaty negotiations were in their final stages and with the general release of prisoners, his parole became freedom, But his health was permanently undermined; his mental vigour was impaired and he never succeeded in recapturing that breath of vision which in other days had enabled him to meet every problem with judgment and equanimity In spite of his failing health, however, he continued in his labour of love as President of the college and rendered valuable services as a member of various local bodies up to the time of his last illness which occurred a few months prior to his deeply lamented death on March 1932.

In the final story of Ireland's resistance to alien aggression, in the epic tale of national resurgence, Cannon O'Kennedy deserves to be remembered as a Priest, Patriot and Leader, wise in judgment, strong in resolve and vigorous in action.

The praiseworthy effort of Aodh Haichir " now one of the few survivors of the East Clare Election Committee of 1917 " who was an intimate friend and a close associate of Cannon O'Kennedy during this eventful period, should be an encouragement to others to write, while memory still persists, of local leaders and of local effort in different parts of the country. Clare has been very much neglected in this respect. A good many individual accounts have been handed in to the Military History Bureau, but unfortunately these records will not become available for more than a quarter of a century to come.

Very Revd. Cannon W. O' Kennedy, B.D.

By Aodg O Haichir Well over a quarter of a century ago, there passed away at St Flannan's College, Ennis, in the person of Very Rev. Cannon W. O' Kennedy, B.D. an outstanding Churchman Educationist and patriot, whose name was revered throughout Clare and Tipperary, But who now has faded into most undeserved oblivion. The O'Kennedy Clan loomed largely in the history of Tipperary where the Cannon was born at Bawn, Nenagh, on January 6th1881, being the eldest of the family of John Kennedy and Anne Kennedy ( ni Darcy ). The family numbered eight in all, and of these, only two are now alive, viz., Fr John Kennedy, now in the U.S.A., and Bridget Kennedy ( now Mrs Bridget Gleeson ) who lives in the homeland.

Having completed his primary education at the local national school, he became a student at St Flannan"s College, Ennis, and on the completion of his course he passed on to Maynooth, where he was ordained in 1905. After his ordination he spent two years at Dunboyne, where he was a tempory lecturer of classics. In 1907 he became Professor at St Flannan"s College, of which he became President in 1919. From the outset he threw himself completely into the life of the College, both educational and recreational. Respecting the latter, he was himself a noted athlete in his early days, and in addition to his work for the College Hurling Team, he actively assisted the G.A.A. in the county. When in 1914, Clare won its first and up to now its only All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, he was on the committee which took charge of the training arrangements.

Like all Patriotic young Priests at the time, he felt elated at the magnificent fight for freedom by Pearce and him Comrades in 1916 and in the national upsurge that followed. In order that the present generation may fully appreciate the part played in Clare by Cannon O' Kennedy in the eventful years which were to come, a brief sketch of the principal happenings in which he so prominently figured, is necessary. In the first week of June, 1917, Mr Wm, Redmond, M.P. ( who had represented East Clare, as a member of the Irish Parliamentary Party that had striven for many years in the British House of Commons to obtain a measure of Home Rule for this country ) was killed in France, and this event suddenly threw the limelight on Clare.

Shortly after his death, an informal gathering at Ennis provisionally decided to put forward a Republican Candidate for the vacant seat. Peter Clancy, a young West Clare man who had fought in Dublin in Easter week, 1916, and who was then in Penal Servitude was the man chosen. It was felt, however, that this meeting was not sufficiently representative, and accordingly steps were taken to summon one on a broader basis. This was duly done about a week later, and at this gathering, which was presided over by the late Sean Milroy, who was an Easter week veteran, several names were submitted, It was eventually unanimously decided to put forward Eamon De Valera, then in Penal Servitude, who was Commandant at Boland's Mills the previous year, although at that time his name was practically unknown in the county.

An Election Committee was at once formed, of which Fr. O' Kennedy was leading member. He was appointed Treasurer, and in addition gave invaluable help to the late Dan McCarthy of Dublin, who was in charge of the organisation. The work was very much facilitated by the fortuitous circumstance that during the election campaign the British Government released the prisoners who had been sentenced to Penal Servitude after the Insurrection. A number of these, including De Valera himself, Eoin McNeill, Diarmuid Lynch, Countess Markievicz, and such outstanding men as Arthur Griffith, Count Plunkett, Brian O'Higgins, and Sean Milroy came to Clare, where they remained until the election was over. The Parliamentary Party put forward as its standard bearer, Mr Patrick Lynch, K.C.

Mr Lynch was a member of a very popular East Clare family and was held in very high esteem, as he had defended many Claremen who were tried during the Land League struggle. Nevertheless, when the result was announced, it was found that De Valera had an overwhelming majority, the exact figures being:-

De Valera 5010 Lynch 2035

These numbers appear very small nowadays, but at that time the franchise was confined to householders. Besides, instead of having as at present polling booths in every National School, there were less than a dozen stations in the whole constituency, and many people had to travel very long distances in order to vote. The Parliamentary Party , by putting forward such a strong candidate, did an unconscious service to Republicanism by creating an opportunity top have its policy fully expounded throughout the Constituency. As a result of this election, Sinn Fein Cumainn sprang up not only throughout Clare, but all over the country, and when shortly afterward in Kilkenny City a similar victory was won by W T Cosgrave, also an Easter week veteran, it showed unmistakably that the Parliamentary Party was a spent force.

The Sinn Fein organisation was established on a firm basis at a National Convention held at the mansion House, Dublin, in October 1917. Shortly afterwards the treat of conscription loomed over the country. Sinn Fein took a leading part in the work of resistance to that imposition. The so called German plot early in 1918, resulted in the arrest of most Sinn Fein leaders. A few, however escaped the net, the principal ones being Michael Collins, Harry Boland, Cathal Brugha, and Rev. Father M O'Flannagan.

The General Election in December, 1918, at which there was adult suffrage for the first time, resulted in the almost complete collapse of the Parliamentary Party and in the estab- lishment of Dail Eireann in January 1919. This body formally declared Ireland a republic; launched a National Loan; established Sinn Fein Courts and in fact rendered British Rule in this Country a matter of naked force. In Clare, Father O Kennedy took a leading part in all the activities sponsored by An Dail. He was Treasurer of the Loan fund of East Clare, a Brehon in the Republican Courts, and a member of the Commission, the report of which resulted in the abolition of the old workhouse system and the establish- ment of County Homes.

His manifold activities did not escape the attention of the British Government, he being one of the very few Priests who underwent imprisonment during the period. In July, 1921, the sanctity of a Retreat at St Flannan's College was violated by enemy forces, who took him into custody. This event aroused the deepest indignation in the county, and indeed throughout the country. The late Archbishop-Bishop of Killaloe, Most Rev. Dr. Fogarty, exemplified his feelings by conferring on Fr, O'Kennedy the dignity of Cannon and appointment his as Chancellor of the Diocese.

The place of his internment was gloomy dungeon in the military prison at Bere Island, where for several months he endured the rigours of solitary confinement. Even to a most placid individual, solitary confinement is a very severe ordeal, but to one who's temperament was so fiery and ardent as was that of Cannon O'Kennedy, it was a most trying experience. It was episode in his life that he never cared to refer to, but its result was that even though it was not apparent immediately after his release, his vigorous constitution became gradually undermined and his death occurred in his early fifties.

At the time of his release the Treaty negotiations were in progress in London. The merits and demerits of the settlement arrived at aroused bitter controversy, not to speak of the unfortunate Civil War, and indeed it may be said that the passions then aroused have not yet completely passed away. Like all true Irishmen, Cannon O ' Kennedy deeply deplored this unfortunate episode. `He held with Collins, that the settle- ment arrived at gave the country freedom to achieve freedom, but maintained his personal friendship with those who took a different view.

When self-governmrnt came into operation in 1922, Cannon O'Kennedy largely devoted himself to the work of local adminis- tration, being a member of such public bodies as the Clare Co. Board of Health; the Clare Mental Hospital Committee and the Co Home Committee. In addition, he was a member of the Agricultural Show Committee and of the Committee of Technical Instruction, as the present Vocational Committee was then named.

These activities did not interfere with his work as an educationist. During his term as President of St Flannan's College, he fully upheld the high traditions of that office, and he affected many improvements which have greatly helped in making the College one of the foremost secondary educational establishments in the country. It was fitting climax to his work that at the annual commemoration in honour of St Flannan which took place in the December before his death,the late Most Rev.Dr. Fogarty, Archbishop-Bishop of Killaloe, paid a glowing tribute to what Cannon O'Kennedy had done in the educational sphere.

In addition, the Cannon was largely instrumental in the establishment of the College Past Pupils Union, which still Flourishes. As already stated, he always took a keen interest in the athletic life of the College, and in this connection it is interesting to recall that he addressed a personal letter of encouragement to the team which was engaged in the Munster Colleges Hurling Final of St Patrick's Day, 1932 just three days before his death. he exhorted them to bring back the Cup, which in fact they did. The late Cannon had a rather prolonged illness and his death was not expected, but when it came on March 20, 1932, it was keenly felt on all sides, more especially by the students and staff of the College.

Amidst every manifestation of regret, his remains were removed on the evening of Monday, March 21, from the College to the Cathedral Ennis, and on the following day, Mass was celebrated by Most Rev.Dr.Fogarty. In the afternoon, his remains were removed to Nenagh, accompanied by thousands who travelled the entire journey. His interment took place in the grounds of the Church of St.Mary of the Rosary, Nenagh, where Dr Fogarty again officiated. It has been truly said that it is not on the morrow of a man's death, his worth can be duly appraised. Even yet, the time has scarcely arrived when the outstanding qualities of Cannon O 'Kennedy can be duly appreciated, but when the future historian comes to chronicle the part played by Clare in the struggle for independance, his name shall loom large amongst the great ones of the period.

Appendix Address delivered by Very Rev Cannon. O'Kennedy at the celebrations held in honour of St Flannan at the College Ennis, on December 18 1921:- On behalf of the staff and the boys, I wish to thank you for accepting our invitation and coming tonight to keep up the festival of our great patron, St Flannan. We welcome you all and we accept your presence here tonight as an earnest of your good will to the College, and as your appreciation of the fact that when the day of the trial came, we here did not flinch in our devotion and duty to the cause of freedom. I must ask you to pardon the short and scrappy Cuirm Ceol which has been set before you. The staff did not Contemplate holding the feast while i was behind barbed wires, So they had to set to work when i came out of captivity at the beginning of the month and though short as the time was at their disposal, I feel they have accomplished wonders. To them i am deeply grateful and also to the boys who responded so readily to their training. Last year we kept the festival under difficulties and you know how our rejoicing was unceremoniously broken into. This year there is no obstacle and next year we hope to set before you a thoroughly Irish Cuirm Ceol. This has been our aim and ambition for years, but now that freedom is all but won , it will be the sacred duty of the College to develop amongst the boys a thoroughly Celtic tone in language, in song, in story, and in culture.

Now I'll beg your leave to introduce a few personal remarks. You all know what i have gone through for the past six months, so I'll not relate the story, nor do i wish to claim credit for any hardship or sufferings I had to endure. God called on me to shoulder the Cross for Dark Rosaleen, and it was my privilege to submit cheerfully to tramp the Via Dolorosa with the thousands of Young Ireland whose willing shoulders bent beneath the burden. It was a privilege and a consolation to be one of them. I have met them in prisons and in barbed wire camps, and wherever i meet them I was strengthened by their cheerfulness by their courage, by the simplicity of their lives, and by their unswerving devotion to the great ideal. In Cork Detention Barracks there were twenty-six boys from Cork, Kerry, Tipperary, Limerick and Clare who were condemned to be shot, had not the Truce intervened. When i was with them, so cheerful were they that one could set them down as fatalists. They were not fatalists, but boys who fought for freedom and who never shrank to die for freedom.

Men of lofty ideals, they led lives of saints, and if it pleased God to call them to the alter of sacrifice, they would have faced the firing squad without a tremor, and with the composure of early martyrs they would have say upon the chair of death. They saw fourteen of their companions die bravely on the altar of sacrifice, and they too were determined to follow with as steady a step. under Providence they will soon be free, and I hope the Irish people will honour them as martyrs in desire, as already they humour those who died that all of us might live. Not only those in Cork, but all in every prison, in Ireland and England must we honour, as their sufferings have gone to fill the cup of sorrow which has made the Motherland acceptable to the Lord. we must not forget them now. After our martyred dead they are our sweetest treasure. In far away Bere Island I met others--some 250--men of similar build and mould.

Since October 1, when my three months of solitary con- finement ended, I have lived with them as a Priest and as a brother, I learned the inmost secrets of their souls. I have been brought up to community life. I have tasted of its joys here and in Maynooth. Among the community of Bere Island I met men who for purity of life and singleness of purpose equal any who have been nursed in piety. Hard things have been said of these men who fought on the hills. They have been denounced in the Parliament of Great Britain, in the Press, in the drawing Room, and even in the Pulpit. Having lived with them, suffered with them, prayed with them, I have learned to love and trust them, and tonight I proudly proclaim that if religion is ever to go down the slippery slope of infidelity, it will not be through the fault of the brave men whose guns spoke freedom on the fair hills of holy Ireland.. Rather do i dread those who love to fatten on the flesh pots of Egypt.

I take this opportunity of thanking all my friends--so many-- whose letters and parcels helped to keep up my spirit and courage, especially when for eleven long weeks I paced--in lonely solitude--that Rock on Bere Island where, from behind the barbed wire and the guns of my guards, I formed sweet thoughts about God and my country, and as I looked out upon the restless waves of Bantry Bay, I saw in their resistless power the strength and glory of a fresh resurgent Young Ireland, arisen from the death chamber, never more to die.

St. Flannan Commeration of December 18, 1920.

Very Rev. M. Hamilton, P.P., V.F,. Nenagh, who was attached to St Flannan's College in 1920, gives the following very interesting explanation of Cannon O'Kennedy's reference to what occurred on that date:-- Just as the annual entertainment and concert by the students was about to conclude, word reached the President that the College was surrounded by Military and Police and that ' a raid ' was in progress. One of the first to be apprehended was a student who had taken part in a play, and amongst other things wore a stage moustache. He had difficulty in persuading the raiders that he was a student who had taken part in a play, and it was only after having searched his room that he was released from custody. This room was the only part of the College building that was searched, and this was fortunate, as there was in the building at the time a revolver belonging to a lay Professor; a rifle belonging to the steward ( the late Tom Clohessy, who was an active member of the I.R.A. ) as well as Sinn Fein literature and monies which had been collected for the Dail Loan. The raiders had suspected, it would seem, that amongst the guests were some of these " on the run " and all the men folk present were compelled to pass in single file to be identified. There was no arrest, but the lay Professor already referred to ( Mr Eamonn Waldron ) was arrested two days later. The raid lasted about an hour and it was interesting to note that on their departure the Military apologised for their intrusion. It was inferred that the raid was instigated by the Police, who may have had information that some " wanted " people would be present as there actually were. The local District Inspector seemed to be in charge of the raid.

This Officer was a very sinister figure, who was responsible for several raids at the time. The writer pamphlet was a witness when, during a raid on the Ennis Workhouse ( now Co Home ), he drew a revolver and treathened to shoot a member of the staff whom he suspected and aided the escape of the late Commandant Frank Barrett, a much wanted man. This member was the late Mr Peter Moran, then School Teacher. In addition to the raid on St Flannan's College, there were, during that event period, two raids on the residence of Most Rev. Dr Fogarty.

As the younger generation are not aware of this and as few of the older know exactly what happened, it is a matter of historical interest that the facts should now be recalled. The first of these two raids was certainly murderous in intent. The raiders, one of whom was masked, made a thorough search for the Bishop, and it transpired later that one of the party declared the purpose of the raid. General Crozier, a British Officer who wished to have the struggle conducted according to the rules of War, subsequently made a public statement that a warning had been sent to the Bishop, but the latter stated that he had received no such warning. this correspondence, however, led to the identity of one of the would be assassins, and another of the murder gang was subsequently identified. At that time Archbishop Clune was in touch with Lloyd George seeking a basis to carry out negotiations for a solution to the Irish question. He had written to Dr Fogarty requesting him to come to Dublin for a meeting. Dr Fogarty sent a prepaid telegram to Dr Clune asking him to come to Ennis, but owing to a misunderstanding, no reply reached him. He accordingly decided to go to Dublin, and it thus happened that he was absent when the murder gang arrived at the Palace.

The second raid, which occurred some time later,was a counter reprisal for the burning of the residence of a noted pro-Britisher who then lived in Ennis. This, in turn was a reprisal for the burning by the British of the residence of the late Senator T V Honan, a prominent Sinn Fein leader: and of The Old Ground Hotel, where Sinn Fein meetings were very Frequently held. I was in the Bishop"s Palace on the night of the second raid, as well as Cannon O'Kennedy. Tans came and threw petrol under the door and set fire to it. We managed to get the fire under control before it spread from the porch. If the fire had got many minutes to make progress, the Palace would, undoubtedly, have been gutted, so its escape can only be described as providential.

Short Tribute to Cannon O Kennedy made by the late Most Reverend Dr. Fogarty, Bishop of Killaloe, at St Flannan Commemorations held at the College on December 18, 1931. Having expressed pleasure at the entertainment, he spoke as follows on the President:- My only regret is that our distinguished President cannot, on account of the state of his health, be present to witness the performance. Cannon O'Kennedy spent his life in bringing the College to its present state of perfection. By his work he has stimulated its intellectual life and energy, and he has attracted students from every part of the country. For the increasing number of students, additional accomadation had to be provided, and this notwithstanding adverse times the College is full, In addition to providing more accommodation for students, Cannon O'Kennedy has carried out a number of very necessary improvements such as heating, hot and cold baths, ect, ect, which were greatly appreciated.

Dail Eireann Loan

Cannon O'Kennedy's capacity as Treasurer of the above in the East Clare Constituency, the sum of 13, 859--14s--6d passed through his hands, which was the largest in any constituency. Attached is a copy of one of the many letters sent to him by Michael Collins, with facsimile of his signature. Father Culligan, referred to in the letter, was Treasurer of the Dail Loan Fund for the constituency of West Clare, and a very active in the Sinn Fein movement. There were then two constituencys in Clare, viz East and West, and there were Border Parishes, portions of which belonged to the East Clare Constituency and portions to West Clare. The money referred to in this letter was probably a contribution from such a parish, which was in error credited to East Clare in the first instance. It should be recalled that though the Mansion House was the Head Office of the Department of Finance, most of the actual work of this and the other Departments set up by An Dail had to be carried out in obscure offices as there was a constant danger of raids.

Copy of Letter Dail Eireann Department of Finance Aireact Airgid Mansion House Ath Cliath, Dublin. 16th November,1920 Rev Father O 'Kennedy A Athair a Chara, Re Dail Loan Will you please note that there been forwarded to you today, receipts numbered 99105 to 99211, both numbers inclusive, representing applications in above amounting to 239 ,0s ,0d. all being fully paid. I trust they will reach you safely. As these receipts belong to West Clare, it is I hope, correct to forward them to you--if I am doing something outrageously wrong i would ask you to forgive me, and forward the to Father Culligan, or whoever is in charge of the particular area concerned. Do Chara Michael Collins.

Danny Boy


During the Anglo--Irish struggle, Cannon Liam O'Kennedy composed an additional verse
to the above popular song.
Hitherto it could not be said to have any special reference to Ireland. the additional verse is included in subjoined:--

But should i live and you should die for Ireland;
Let not your dying thoughts be for me
But breath a prayer to God for our sire land;
He'll surely hear and then he'll set her free.
And i shall take your sword in hand my darling,
And strike a blow though weak that blow may be.
I'll aid the cause to which you heart was dearest,
And you shall sleep in peace until you sent for me.



The Tomb of Cannon W O'Kennedy B.D., St Mary of the Rosary, Neneagh, Co Tipperary.



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