Donal McSweeney and Meda Ryan
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Donal McSweeney and Meda Ryan


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Track 1: This recording was compiled at the the McSweeney home at Gortnafuinsion, Ballyvourney. Also present was Meda Ryan, historian from Ennis, Co. Clare, who provided the background to Tom Barry’s activities locally.
Donal McSweeney discusses the local meeting place for the Volunteers where Tom Barry stayed on a number of occasions while on the run. Track 2: Donal recalls the terrorisation of the local people by the Auxiliaries during the War of Independence, with examples provided by Meda Ryan. Also discussed is the admiration locally for Tom Barry and the manner in which the Volunteer brigades were configured and cooperated with one another. Track 3: On location at the site of the Kilmichael ambush, which took place on 28 November 1920, Donal describes the preparations for the ambush, provides a detailed account of each stage and also describes the ‘false surrender’ and explains that all Auxiliaries were fatally wounded, with no prisoners taken. Track 4: The peoples’ anxiety in the aftermath of Kilmichael is described as they feared for the worst of reprisals. Meda Ryan describes events at Kilmichael as a decisive factor in bringing an end to the War of Independence. Track 5: A visit to Joe Creedon, of Creedon’s Hotel, Inchigeela, which was used by both sides during the Troubles. Donal remembers the local carpenter who made the coffins for the Kilmichael casualties. The recording concluded with Joe Creedon’s fine rendition of the ballad ‘The Boys of Kilmichael.’

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

Witnesses to Independence


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

45.32 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



The Kilmichael ambush

Recorded by:

Dominic Kiernan