IRELAND HAS paid tribute to the former Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney, on the 100th anniversary of his death.
MacSwiney drew his last breath on October 25th, 1920, at Brixton Prison following 74 days on hunger strike in protest at his internment.
A playwright and author as well as politician, MacSwiney was elected as Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork during the Irish War of Independence in 1920.
He was subsequently arrested by the British Government on charges of sedition and imprisoned in Brixton Prison where he remained until his death.
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.
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) October 25, 2020
The hunger strike he instigated helped bring the Irish Republican campaign to international attention.
A further 11 republican prisoners, who were being held inside Cork Men’s Gaol, also went on hunger strike in solidarity with MacSwiney.
Vigils were held, public petitions signed and several businesses shut down for “masses of intercession” during the hunger strike.
'It is not those who can inflict the most but those who can endure the most who will conquer" Terence MacSwiney Irish Patriot, Mayor of Cork. Died in Brixton Prison after 74 days on hunger strike on this day 100 years ago. We remember him with pride pic.twitter.com/Uf3QFDcqAz
— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) October 25, 2020
MacSwiney was one of three prisoners to die during the hunger strike along with Joe Murphy and Michael Fitzgerald.
Speaking from his prison cell, prior to his passing, MacSwiney famous declared: "I am confident that my death will do more to smash the British Empire than my release."
100 years on from his death people across Cork and much of Ireland paid tribute to his impact.
#OnThisDay 25 October 1920 - Terence MacSwiney, the Mayor of Cork, dies in a London prison after 73 days on hunger strike. His last words to a priest by his side were, "I want you to bear witness that I die as a soldier of the Irish Republic.” This is the last photo taken of him. pic.twitter.com/VIO2oQbHOv
— National Library of Ireland (@NLIreland) October 25, 2020
The Taoiseach Micheál Martin led the remembrances on social media.
“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.”
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou MacDonald shared one of MacSwiney’s most famous quotes: “It is not those who can inflict the most but those who can endure the most who will conquer"
“Terence MacSwiney Irish Patriot, Mayor of Cork,” she continued. “Died in Brixton Prison after 74 days on hunger strike on this day 100 years ago. We remember him with pride.”
— Máirtin Flannery (@BallyMairtin) October 25, 2020
In Cork, Lord Mayor Joe Kavanagh, was joined by Bishop Gavin and Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson to lay a wreath at MacSwiney’s grave.
A day earlier, Cork City Hall was also illuminated in the national colours to mark the centenary of MacSwiney’s death and the deaths of Murphy and Fitzgerald.
The Interim President of University College Cork (UCC), Professor John O’Halloran also laid a wreath at the gate of the old Cork Men’s Gaol to commemorate MacSwiney’s death and remember all those who suffered during that period of Irish history.
Professor O’Halloran said: “One hundred years ago, this quiet intersection was the centre of an international storm. With this wreath laying we recall the deaths of Terence MacSwiney, Joseph Murphy, and Michael Fitzgerald, which occurred this week one hundred years ago, and honour their sacrifice for Irish independence.
“We also wish to remember the nine other republican prisoners who survived the hunger strike, albeit with physical and psychological scars.”
A selection of the tributes posted online can be read below:
Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney died on hunger strike in Brixton Prison hundred years ago today, UCC laid a wreath at Cork Men’s Gaol to commemorate his death and remember all those who suffered during a tumultuous period of Irish history. pic.twitter.com/elpB2bCh08
— UCC Ireland (@UCC) October 25, 2020
Today we remember Terence MacSwiney.
25th October 1920
We are political prisoners.
“I thank what ever Gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.”
Unbowed and Unbroken
— Raymond McCartney (@RaymondMcCartn1) October 25, 2020
Died 100 years ago today
25 October 1920
After 74 days on hunger strike, his death brought Irish republicanism to international attention
At Rochestown Monastery w/ Frs Bonaventure, Coleman, Berchmans, Francis, 30 May 1920
Courtesy of @CorkPMuseum @StPetersCork pic.twitter.com/tLfvoxwWKO
— Old Ireland in Colour (@irelandincolour) October 25, 2020
🇮🇪Today we remember our patriot Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney, who on this day 100 years ago died after 74 days on hunger strike. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis
ℹ️ Visit our new commemorations website to learn more: https://t.co/8F9RNFWNxm #Cork1920 #ACityRemembers pic.twitter.com/ZAWeIZGreZ
— Cork City Council #StaySafe (@corkcitycouncil) October 25, 2020
Today marks the centenary of the death of Terence MacSwiney, MP & Lord Mayor of Cork.
“Sketch for the Funeral of Terence MacSwiney”, by Irish artist John Lavery, depicts his remains lying in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark before his funeral in Ireland. @CrawfordArtGall pic.twitter.com/GRlt9rnY85
— Embassy of Ireland (@IrelandEmbGB) October 25, 2020