Fionnuala MacCurtain (b. 1953)
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Fionnuala MacCurtain (b. 1953)


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Track 1: The Mourne Abbey, Co. Cork, background to the MacCurtain family, which relocated to Blackpool on the north side of Cork city, is described by Fionnuala MacCurtain, who explains that her grandfather, Tomás MacCurtain, became involved in the Gaelic League in Cork where he met his future wife, Bandon-born Éilís Walsh, whom he married in 1908. Fionnuala explains that her father, Tomás Óg, witnessed his father’s murder by the RIC in March 1920. The information she has regarding her grandfather, and his funeral, came from her father. Track 2: The mobilisation of the Irish Volunteers in Cork city and county, the Countermanding Order by Eoin MacNeill, and the total confusion it created, are described. They are also clearly detailed in Fionnuala’s grandfather’s diaries. A letter written to her grandmother by her husband in 1917, setting out his strong convictions and beliefs in his nationalistic ideals, is read by Fionnuala MacCurtain. Track 3: Tomás Óg MacCurtain lost his father and his godfather, Terence MacSwiney, within eight months of one another, explains Fionnuala MacCurtain. (Terence MacSwiney died on 25 October 1920, following a 74-day hunger-strike in Brixton Prison in England.) She also discusses her father’s character, the passing on of the republican baton to him and his entry into the IRA movement, a membership he maintained until 1958. Track 4: Fionnuala’s father’s experiences while a member of the IRA, including his imprisonment in Curragh Camp, his courtmartial, his death sentence and his later reprieve are all discussed. Some of the MacCurtain family archive is displayed and discussed, as are Tomás MacCurtain’s military medals. His great utilisation of his office as Lord Mayor of Cork, is also recalled.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

17.27 MB, 9.79 MB, 13.79 MB, 15.22 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



MacCurtain, Tomás and MacCurtain, Tomás Óg (Interviewee’s grandfather and father respectively)

Recorded by:

BBC Radio