Part 11 - Copy Letter from Fr. Michael O'Shea OFM Cap. re Civil War Battle

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IE CA IR-1/3/4/11


Copy Letter from Fr. Michael O'Shea OFM Cap. re Civil War Battle


  • 26 Aug. 1922-27 Jan. 1923 (Creation)

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12 pp; Copy manuscript

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(26 June 1904-9 November 1958)

Biographical history

Baptismal name: John Aloysius O’Shea
Religious name: Fr. Michael O’Shea OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 26 June 1892
Place of birth: Ballincollig, County Cork
Name of father: James O’Shea (commercial traveller)
Name of mother: Elizabeth O’Shea (née O’Neill) (national school teacher)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 4 Oct. 1909
Date of first profession: 16 Oct. 1910
Date of final profession: 21 Dec. 1913
Date of ordination (as priest): 3 May 1918
Educational attainments: BA (1914); MA (1915)
Date of death: 9 Nov. 1958
Place of death: Bon Secours Hospital, Cork
Place of burial: Cemetery, Rochestown Capuchin Friary, County Cork
Observations: In 1927 the Feis Maitiú Corcaigh was established by Fr. Michael O’Shea OFM Cap. as a platform for the performing arts in Cork. He also served as President of Father Mathew Hall on Church Street in Dublin from 1934-7.

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Photocopy of a letter from Fr. Michael O'Shea OFM Cap., Capuchin Franciscan College, Rochestown, County Cork, to Winifred Etheridge, c/o Major F. Etheridge DSO, Broadway Cottage, Littleham, North Exmouth, Devon. The letter (27 January 1923) provides a detailed, eyewitness description of an engagement between Free State soldiers and irregular republicans near Rochestown College in August 1922. Winifred Etheridge was a sister of Ian McKenzie Kennedy, a Scottish-born republican, who died during the battle. The file also includes a photocopy of a letter (26 August 1922) from Nora Lucey, 3 Pembroke Street, Cork, to Mrs McKenzie Kennedy providing further detail on the skirmish and on the death of her son, Ian McKenzie Kennedy. A copy sketch map (drawn by Fr. Michael O'Shea OFM Cap.) showing details of the battle between Free State forces and Anti-Treaty irregulars around Rochestown is also extant in the file.

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In July 1922 the Free State Army landed at Passage West with the intention of capturing Cork city from the Anti-Treaty irregulars. On 9 August 1922, Free State forces fought a day-long battle with approximately two-hundred irregulars. Resistance was finally broken when Captains Peadar Conlon and Frank O’Friel led twelve men in an attack on the last remaining republican stronghold. By the end of the day, seven republicans and nine Free State soldiers had been killed. The Free State success at Rochestown enabled them to advance on Cork relatively unopposed.

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