100 years ago this evening, on Tuesday, October 5, 1915, Terence MacSwiney arrived at the Hales farmhouse in Ballinadee between Bandon and Kinsale, where he stayed overnight.
Arriving – probably by train and bicycle – at about 6.30pm, he chatted with Bill Hales, one of the sons of the family who were instrumental in establishing the local Irish Volunteers company, one of the strongest even at that point in the relatively early manifestation of the organisation in the county.
Among other things, they discussed the forthcoming Volunteers rally at Beal na Blath, being planned for Sunday, October 24. They had already done so a week earlier during a previous visit, when Hales seemed very eager about bringing his own men along to help muster interest in the Kilmurry area.
MacSwiney would return the following evening on his way back from a meeting with Willie McDonnell in Castlelack, Bandon, who was a key figure in the company there, again one of the earliest and best-organised in the west Cork area.
By now, good momentum was building for the proposed rally in Kilmurry just a couple of weeks away at this stage.
“If this comes off, it will be a great event,” MacSwiney had written in his diary for Tuesday, September 28.
The previous Sunday, September 26, he had been to Beal na Blath for an initial meeting with local men, convened by John T Murphy from Crossmahon, Lissarda, who would later be MacSwiney’s election sub-agent in his successful stand, uncontested, in the December 1918 general election for Mid-Cork. By now a full-time paid organiser for the Irish Volunteers, MacSwiney was accompanied on the initial trip by city officers or executive members of the Volunteers: Sean Jennings, Paddy Corkery, Donal Barrett (also features in the image above), and Donnchadh MacNeilus (the latter two, at least, were also members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood).
The planned muster was scheduled to take place four weeks later, and will hopefully form the basis of further post(s) on here.