School Resource Packs: Cork 1912-1918


1913 SM2 Irish Volunteers (Fawcitt Letter)

Monday, 1 st March 1965

Mater Private Nursing Home, Eccles Street, Dublin

My dear O’Connell, As I write our Chief of State is speaking over / Roger Casement’s grave in Glasnevin / and [every] transformer is busy. / The thought has occurred to me. That / on two occasions during my youthful / days Casement figured in the columns / of the ‘Examiner’ and ‘Echo’. // I was one of the 4 youngsters who convened / the public meeting in the City Hall to found / a branch of the new Irish Volunteers / organisation in Cork. I had previously / known Casement and I wrote & asked him / to attend the opening public meeting. / He did come and speak on the occasion. / The then Redmondite ‘Molly Maguires’ attempted / to break up the public meeting. Unfortunately / the late Eoin MacNeill gave them the op / portunity by calling in his public / speech for ‘three cheers for /Carson’s Volunteers’ ! The hall lights were / [new page] extinguished. A knot of ‘Mollies’ who came in /early and occupied the front seats nearest / to the platform, stormed the platform, but / and cut with a chair the head of the chairman the / late JJ Walsh. The crowded hall began to / move out when I [raised] a chair in the / centre of the hall, had the lights put on again, had Roger Casement / called out from the wings and the lights / put on again. I placed my right hand on / Casement’s shoulder and shouted / ‘here is a man who would be received in / every chancellery in Europe – will / Cork deny him a hearing?’. Cork / didn’t. - When order was restored, all in / the body of the hall sat down & listened to / Casement’s speech. The meeting proceeded / to a close and some 200 Volunteers / signed application forms that night. / The Examiner-Echo files should have / that speech or a reference to it.// Later I convened a meeting of the / Galtee Battalion of the Volunteers and / invited Casement to attend. He promised to do so. [Ends]


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