Máire Brugha (b. 1918)
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Máire Brugha (b. 1918)


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Track 1: Máire Brugha describes her family background in Cork and her mother Muriel’s close friends, the O’Briens of Blarney and Geraldine Neeson (née O’Sullivan), through whom she met her future husband, Terence MacSwiney, afterwards elected Lord Mayor of Cork in 1920. He was subsequently to die on hunger strike in Brixton Prison in England. Track 2: The difficulties encountered by her mother, Muriel Murphy, due to her family’s opposition to her proposed marriage to Terence MacSwiney, are explained. The couple married in Bromyard Internment Camp in Wales where Terence MacSwiney was held. The best man (and Máire’s godfather) was Richard Mulcahy. Muriel Murphy’s bridesmaid was Geraldine Neeson. Track 3: Memories of Máire MacSwiney’s childhood in Germany are discussed, as is the fact that she knew nothing of events in Ireland at that time. Her return to Ireland in the company of her paternal aunt, and the challenging journey they endured, is recalled. Track 4: The custody case in Dublin, when she was fourteen years old, following her return to Cork to live with her aunts, is discussed. During the case, she stayed at the home of Peadar and Lil O’Donnell. Máire recounts an anecdote about her aunt Mary MacSwiney’s dismissal from her teaching post at St. Angela’s College on St. Patrick’s Hill, Cork. Track 5: Máire Brugha’s response to learning for the first time about her father’s involvement In the Irish fight for freedom is described, and she reverts in memory to a trip at a very young age from Cork to Dublin to stay at the O’Rahilly home. (Michael O’Rahilly was shot dead in Moore Street in Dublin on 28 April 1916, leading the first party out of the GPO.) Máire’s mother Muriel’s unpredictable nature is also recalled. Track 6: Boarding school days at St. Louis Convent in Monaghan and Máire’s education through Irish are discussed. Máire Brugha discusses the circumstances which led to her meeting with Ruairí Brugha and their subsequent marriage in the Honan Chapel in University College Cork. (Ruairí Brugha was the son of Cathal Brugha, who was hugely involved in the fight for independence.) Their decision to rear their children without any reference to the revolutionary period is also explained. The absence of any obvious remembrance of her father, Terence MacSwiney, in Cork in earlier decades is discussed.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

8.86 MB, 5.61 MB, 8.76 MB, 10.03 MB, 5.85 MB, 26.97 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



MacSwiney, Terence (Interviewee’s father)

Recorded by:

BBC Radio