Tribute to Two West Cork Men: Sean Hales and Dick Barrett
Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage
Friday Nov 18 2022
Clonakilty GAA Hall, Ahamilla
Much has been written and recounted about the close friendship, comradery and respect that existed between these two remarkable men during the course of their short lives. However, it is the sad nature of their deaths, which occurred only one day apart, during the tragic Irish Civil War, which exercises the minds of historians and others as we approach the centenary of those terrible events.
Sean Hales and Dick Barrett, having fought side by side during the War of Independence, took opposite sides on the Treaty, Sean supporting it while Dick took the anti-Treaty side. On 7 December 1922, Sean Hales TD was shot dead in Dublin, possibly in a case of mistaken identity, by anti-Treaty IRA. In response, the Free State Government decided on the drastic action of executing prisoners, without charge or trial, as a reprisal for Sean’s horrific death. Dick who had been a prisoner in Mountjoy Jail since the fall of the Four Courts six months earlier, was one of four prisoners to be executed the following day.
This tribute will be narrated by Dúchas local historians Diarmuid Kingston and Michael O’Mahony in collaboration with actors from Kilmeen Drama Group.
With the Micheal Collins Centenary events recently concluded, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage will hold another public talk on two other prominent West Corkmen from the tragic year of 1922 on 18th November at the local GAA Pavilion.
At the outset of the Decade of Centenaries, the local history and heritage group decided its mission was "To ensure that the complex period of our history particularly from 2021 to 2023 is remembered appropriately, respectfully and with sensitivity".
Following on the very well received lecture on Michael Collins recently by Gabriel Doherty of UCC, the sad and tragic deaths of Seán Hales and Dick Barrett will be remembered on 18th November - just three weeks before their centenary anniversaries.
Much has been written about how close both men were in life and how sad they were linked in death with pro-treaty Seán Hales, TD assassinated as he left the Dáil on 7th December 2022 and his former friend and comrade, Dick Barrett, an anti-treaty Republican incarcerated since the surrender of the Four Courts, was taken out and executed as a reprisal the following morning along with three fellow Republican prisoners.
On Friday evening 18th November, Sean Hales and Dick Barrett will be remembered in a special commemorative event, hosted and organised by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage, at the Clonakilty GAA Complex.
Given the upcoming centenaries and the fact that both men were "locals", as well as the interest in this tragic period of Irish history, it’s an event likely to attract a large crowd.
Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage is announcing the date at this early stage so people can "save the date".
For Heritage Week 2022, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage has once again decided to do a film documentary. As part of our celebrations, we will be visiting the historic coastal village of Timoleague which is situated at the mouth of the Airgideen river estuary on the cusp of Courtmacsherry Bay. It is a picturesque place steeped in historical fact, along with myth and legend, and to take us back over the centuries our guides are Diarmuid Kingston and Michael O’Mahony.
We hope that the viewer will enjoy our visit to this historical coastal village and its hinterland with its spectacular scenery and rich folklore. It is indeed a place of historical importance with its ancient abbeys and wonderful artistically endowed churches. It is only by a visit that their beauty and uniqueness can be fully appreciated.
Click here to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6s9pgGBst8
Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage's third volume of the popular “Clonakilty Historical and Archaeological Journal” is now available at local outlets costing €10. It contains 12 excellent articles examining different aspects of local history and built heritage, focusing on the seventeenth to twentieth centuries, as well as many interesting photos - some of which have not been published before.
We are delighted to announce that the Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage published book, ‘Clonakilty Town Council a History 1613 – 2014’, is now available.
This project was organised by a sub-group of Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage who engaged the services of Dr Matthew Potter, an authority on local government in Ireland, who was joined by Dúchas members Tomás Tuipéar and Michael O’Mahony, to write this comprehensive history. In the words of our Cathaoirleach Tim Feen, ‘this is a veritable history of Clonakilty’.
The limited edition of 200 illustrated books, containing previously unpublished documents and research specific to Clonakilty, are available at :
COUGHLAN’S, Rossa Street, KERR’S, Ashe Street and PADDY MEADE’S, Pearse Street, at € 25.
In the current environment many individuals, clubs and organisations locally are currently putting measures in place to keep the morale up and keep people occupied (in the safety of their own homes), and so Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage have decided to make available for free the two volumes of the Duchas Clonakilty Heritage journal as PDFs on our website here
It is possible to read / download the entire journals or just individual articles.
Feel free to share link http://www.duchasclonakiltyheritage.com/index.php/journals to family, friends or anyone who you think might enjoy these articles!