Cathal Brugha (b. 1949)
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Cathal Brugha (b. 1949)


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Track 1: The background to the Brugha and the MacSwiney families is explored by Cathal Brugha and he discusses his feelings on the reasons why his grandfather changed his name from Charles Burgess to the Irish version – Cathal Brugha. He discusses his grandfather’s role in the 1916 Rising, and he describes his efforts to bring order and discipline to bear during the War of Independence. Also mentioned is his grandfather’s admiration for Roger Casement and Seán MacDiarmada. Track 2: The interviewee’s views on the Rising are recorded, as are his impressions of his grandmother, Caitlín Kingston, who raised six children following the death of her husband, Cathal. The interviewee’s account of the killing of his grandfather following the occupation of The Four Courts in 1922, and the assistance provided by the British from Enniskillen in the attack on the building at that time, is outlined. The attempts by Cathal Brugha to bring an end to the fighting – attempts which led to his death – are also described. Track 3: The interviewee recounts the election of his grandfather to the First Dáil, his fluency in the Irish language and its use by him in documentation. He discusses the reasons why his grandfather voted in favour of his and Éamon de Valera’s non-attendance at the Treaty negotiations in London in 1921. The death of the interviewee’s father, Ruairí Brugha, and the assistance afforded to his grandmother following her husband Cathal Brugha’s death is also recalled. Track 4: Cathal Brugha’s term in the First Dáil, and his proposition, adopted in 1919, on the taking of an Oath of Allegiance to the Irish Republic, are discussed. The fact that the interviewee’s grandfather was the first Irish Minister to be shot in the 1922-1923 period is also mentioned. The Brugha family’s decision to always refuse Government pensions and military medals, and the reasons for this decision, are explored. The interviewee recalls some anecdotes relating to his education at Gonzaga College in Ranelagh, Dublin, and the attendance there of descendants of other Irish revolutionaries.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

20.57 MB, 7.89 MB, 12.51 MB, 8.13 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Brugha, Cathal (Interviewee’s grandfather)

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore