Episode 5 - War of Independence
Kevin Barry, Terence McSwiney and Sean Treacy are the focus of this week’s episode on herosongs from the war of independence 1919- 1922. The episode explores why these songs with the exception of Kevin Barry are rarely sung or heard today.
Mark Brennock reported on the Northern Ireland conflict during the 80’s and 90’s for the Irish Times, and shares his memories as a child in the 60’s listening to these songs being played by the Irish Army Band while veteran journalist Seamus Martin shares his mothers memory on the shooting of Sean Tracey.
Kevin Barry’s grandnephew and history professor of Trinity College Eunan O’Halpin shares his knowledge about who Kevin Barry was; “He seems generally to have been an admirable person, not at all trying to hide behind lawyers or pretend he was a hero let alone a martyr.” Therese visits the Kevin Barry memorial window in UCD with arts facilitator Ruth Ferguson and singer Frances Black remembers how she first heard the song ‘Kevin Barry’ and what it means to her.
Historian Maura Cronin of Mary Immaculate College Limerick makes the point that these songs are meant to be propaganda.
Góilín traditional singers club members Diarmuid Breatnach and Frank Nugent talk about the two Sean Tracey songs and the song ‘Shall my Soul pass through old Ireland’ about the then Lord Mayor of Cork Terence McSwiney who died on hunger strike in 1920.