Michael Finucane (b. 1903)
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Michael Finucane (b. 1903)


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During the summer of 2004 Michael Finucane was on holiday in Killarney with his family so I travelled there to meet him. Michael was born in Newtownsandes, later known as Moyvane, in May 1903. He was taught in National School by John B. Keane’s father and Bryan McMahon’s father – a literary education indeed. News of the Rising in Dublin on Easter Monday 1916 took some time to trickle through to Newtownsandes. Not many people locally were too interested in Republican matters, and felt that the Rising was a somewhat similar event to that organised by Jim Larkin in 1913. Later in life Michael worked in the Civil Service with a man named Paddy Boland who had been imprisoned in Germany during the Great War. He recalled an occasion when Roger Casement visited the prison camp in an attempt to get the Irish inmates interested in a potential Rising at home and he said that not one prisoner was prepared to become involved with him, as most people were loyalist, on Home Rule terms, and had been fighting with the British during the war. After the Rising the mood of the people in Ireland swung towards the Volunteers and Michael’s elder brother, Paddy began ‘training’ in a local field with his friends in an atmosphere more reminiscent of a football match. During June 1921, there was an air of quiet around the countryside but Michael recalls that during that month, as he was retuning from holidays in Clare by boat to Tarbert, he was met in the village by a British soldier who demanded that his suitcase be opened, whereupon he searched carefully among the contents with his bayonet before allowing Michael to proceed. He recalled that directly before the Black and Tans left Ireland he was walking through Listowel with IRA man Con Brosnan when they spotted twelve Tans standing outside the Barracks in the town. He remembers Con crossing the road and introducing himself. The men were stupefied, saying that they had been hunting for him for the previous two years without success. During his years in the Civil Service, Michael worked with many people who had been involved with the fight for freedom, and knew David Neligan, who played a prominent part in the events of the Civil War. My day in Killarney with Michael Finucane was very well spent, and I was very glad to have had an opportunity to listen to his fine reminiscences and recollections.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

Witnesses to Independence


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

52.03 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



A life of Republicanism

Recorded by:

Eddie Barrett (grand-nephew of Austin Stack)