Ireland pays tribute to Terence MacSwiney on 100th anniversary of his death

Ireland pays tribute to Terence MacSwiney on 100th anniversary of his death

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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: