Fr John Chisholm (b. 1922)
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Fr John Chisholm (b. 1922)


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John Chisholm was reared in Clontarf in Dublin and was educated at Scoil Mhuire in Griffith Avenue and later at O’Connell Schools. He joined the Holy Ghost Fathers in 194 and after his ordination he taught theology and philosophy at Kimmage College from 1950. He was appointed to UCD in 1966 where he remained until his retirement in 1988. During his time at Kimmage College he met Cork men Liam Deasy from Bandon and Fr. Tim Lyons, a Salesian priest. The men shared an interest in having the eye witness accounts of the West Cork Brigade IRA written for posterity, and it was decided that John Chisholm would write a book on the subject. John discusses writing the first chapter, and in 1969, travelling to West Cork where he stayed with the nephew of Liam Deasy, also named Liam Deasy, in Bandon. Working from a list compiled by Liam Deasy Snr he recorded the memories of many of the survivors of the West Cork Brigade, including those of Jack O’Sullivan, Ned Young and Paddy O’Brien. He recounts the stories told to him about the events of the Kilmichael Ambush on 20th November 1920. He examines and discusses the conflicting accounts given to him and those outlined in Tom Barry’s book “Guerilla Days in Ireland”. He recalls his meetings with the survivors of the Brigade and gives his impressions of their characters and demeanour. He explains his reasons for not proceeding to record the stories of the people involved in the Civil War in West Cork in later years. The timing of the release of Liam Deasy’s book “Towards Ireland Free” in 1973 which almost coincided with the outbreak of the recent Troubles in the North of Ireland, is discussed, as are the reasons for his decision to publish no further material on the contentious subject. To conclude, he explains that he has passed the recorded material he compiled with the survivors of the West Cork Brigade to the Deasy family.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

Heritage Collection 2016


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

73.8 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



The Struggle for Independence in West Cork

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore