School Resource Packs: Cork 1912-1918


There is some doubt as to whether or not MacNeill called for three / cheers for the Ulster Volunteers. Whether or no, the above reference to / the Ulster Volunteers was made a sufficient reason for the AOH group / to start what they had come to do – disrupt the meeting. Undoubtedly / they needed little excuse, and, as the entire audience was on its feet hiss- / ing, shouting and cheering, apparently at a prearranged signal, an angry / group of the ‘Molly Maguire’ rabble, shouting Redmondite catch-calls, rushed / the platform, brandishing sticks. JJ Walsh was felled by a blow of / a chair wielded by an AOH ‘heavy’, and had to be removed to the South Infirmary. // One of the Fianna turned off the lights in the Hall, thereby / saving the situation, as the AOH, believing that their task was well done, forthwith left the Hall. But that was not the end, for, when the lights / came on again, a large portion of the sturdy audience – men who had years / of longing and loving of Roisin Dubh behind them – were still there. // Fawsitt took charge of the platform and asked the audience to be / seated. Someone started to sing // Ta Grainne Mhaoil ag triall thar saile/ Oglaig armtha lei mar garda --/ Gaodhail iad fein – ni Gaill ni Spanaig:/ Ag fogairt fan ar Ghaillaibh!// Then Fawsitt introduced Roger Casement, and speaking well, his / meaningful speech was well understood. The enthusiasm developed is / [new page] indescribable! Probably more than half the audience could grasp the / meaning of the words in Gaelic: // Ag fogairt fan ar Ghaillaibh// The dawn was over the hill// It mattered not a dam that Eoin MacNeill, in a letter to the / ‘Irish Times’ a few days after said:// ‘I am, and have long been, a supporter of Mr John Redmond’.// What really counted was the song sung in Gaelic. And it became / popular over night – and man, woman and child knew in his heart what / it portended.// Hundreds of applications for enrolment in the Volunteers were filled / up, and handed in, that night – and THE CORK CORPS WAS ON ITS WAY ! [Ends]


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