Saturday, 14 January 2012

Irish Volunteers - Sweeney

while the better halfs' family has a number of rebels and fenians on the family tree, mine are near non-existent. Most seemed to be focused on earning a living (and in some cases drinking it away).

The Sweeney's, related by marriage, are the only ones that have shown up so far as having an interest in Irish independence.

George, Michael and Patrick were the children of Hugh and Bridget Sweeney. Bridget by all accounts was a fierce supporter of the independence movement. though Hugh and Bridget are listed in the 1901 census as English speakers, the children are all listed as Irish speakers, even 3month old Michael.

George Sweeney was a member of the Irish Volunteers but followed the Redmond route into the British Army. He was killed in 1917 aged 19.

His brother Michael was also a member of the Irish Volunteers but too young to enlist in the army. Not too young to be a member of the South Dublin Union garrison during the Easter Rising though. He went on to fight during the War of Independence, was wounded, later imprisoned in Mountjoy but killed after the Truce and just before the Civil War erupted. Shot by a member of the National Army whilst escaping from a lorry at the corner of Grafton St and Nassau St. It was reported that his funeral at Mount Jerome was attended by over 3000 and his death was raised by Harry Boland. Today, like his older brother, few would even have heard of him and he appears as a footnote.

Their younger brother Patrick was involved in running messages during the War of Independence.

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