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Tributes paid to former Cork Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney on centenary of his death

MacSwiney died in Brixton Prison, where he had been on a hunger strike for 74 days.

Image: Shutterstock/Madrugada Verde

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid today to Terence MacSwiney, a revolutionary and former Lord Mayor of Cork, who died a hundred years ago on this day.

MacSwiney died in Brixton Prison in London, where he had been on a hunger strike for 74 days.

Before his death on 25 October 1920, MacSwiney was a TD for Mid Cork from December 1918 and the Lord Mayor of Cork from March 1920. 

On the anniversary of MacSwiney’s death today, Taoiseach Micheál Martin tweeted: “Today we remember the patriot, poet, revolutionary and former Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney.”

“On the 100th anniversary of his death on hunger strike, we remember the sacrifice that he and so many others made to give us the freedoms and responsibilities we enjoy today,” Martin wrote.

Lord Mayor of Cork, Joe Kavanagh, laid a wreath at MacSwiney’s grave in Cork today.

MacSwiney is buried in Cork in Saint Finbarr’s Cemetery.

Leader of Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald said that MacSwiney left an “unquantifiable” mark on Ireland’s history.

“His contribution to the struggle for independence cannot be measured with words,” McDonald said.

“It is best seen in the reverence and respect in which his memory is held across Ireland, throughout the world, but especially in his beloved Cork,” she said. 

As Ard-Mhéara Chorcaí and a Teachta Dála, MacSwiney faced down efforts by the British Empire to criminalise Ireland’s fight for freedom. As a revolutionary leader he led by example – with courage, determination and absolute commitment to the Irish Republic.” 

“It is important too that we recall the sacrifice of Joe Murphy, who died on hunger strike in Cork Gaol a century ago today also, and Michael Fitzgerald, whose 100th anniversary was last weekend. It is heartening that the community in Cork have organised a number of initiatives in recent weeks to honour their memories.”

“A century on from his death, the legacy of MacSwiney resonates with all who yearn for a United Ireland. For a Republic built on the principles of equality, fairness, inclusion and justice. For a Republic where workers and families have a right to a home, to decent work and to proper healthcare,” McDonald said.

Plans are ongoing at Cork City and County Councils to commemorate the centenary of 1920 to mark the lasting impact of events during that year on the fight for independence in Ireland.

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€900,000 was recently allocated to support local authorities developing commemorations of significant historical events in 1920, with €200,000 allocated to projects under Cork County Council.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey has said that projects include diaspora engagement, school competitions, exhibitions, virtual 360 degree commemorative documentaries and oral history projects.

Cork City Council has illuminated Cork City Hall in the tricolour to mark the centenary of  MacSwiney’s death, along with Joe Murphy and Michael Fitzgerald.

University College Cork laid a wreath at Cork Men’s Gaol today to commemorate MacSwiney’s death.

As a student, MacSwiney studied Mental and Moral Science at UCC, which was then known as the Royal University. 

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