A BRIEF HISTORY OF NA FIANNA …IREANN IN CORK
Some time in 1910 or
thereabouts, Tomas MacCurtain invited Countess Markievicz to
to organize a Sluagh of the Fianna in the city. The meeting took place
in the city hall. Tomas MacCurtain, SeŠn ” Cuill, Bob Langford, and
Tadhg Barry, were among those who attended the initial meeting. After
Madame had outlined the aims and objects of the organization, it was
decided to organize a Sluagh in the city and later to set up Sluaite in
Progress was slow at the start,
but in 1912 a large number of Baden Powell Scouts left the British
organization and joined the Fianna, and from then onwards the Fianna in
began to grow steadily. Estimated strength in the city from 1913 to 1914
- 30 to 40; 1914 - 40 to 50; 1915 - 60 to 80; 1916 - 80 to 100.
The Sluaite consisted of nine
Fiannaidhe, eight boys and a Sluagh leader. The boys wore a plain green
shirt and officers a double breasted tunic. After 1916, all wore the
double breasted tunic. The I/C of the Fianna in
had the title of Scoutmaster up to the Munster Convention in 1915, which
was held at
. At the Convention it was decided to replace the title of Scoutmaster
with the military rank of captain. Sťamus Courtney of
was appointed O/C of
and he appointed SeŠn Healy O/C of
The following were the officers
commanding the county: Walter Furlong, a few months at the start;
Christy Monahan, 1912 to 1913; Liam O'Callaghan, 1913 to 1914; Seamus
Courtney, 1914 to 1915; SeŠn Healy, 1915 to 1918.
From 1914 to 1916, SeŠn Healy
and Sťamus Courtney organized a great many areas in the county,
, Blackrock and Youghal. In other areas the Fianna were pioneers in
building up the volunteers.
Tadhg O'Sullivan succeeded SeŠn
Healy as O/C of
, when SeŠn joined the Volunteers. He was succeeded by Frank McMahon.
Tadhg was killed by Crown forces in
in May 1921. Seamus Courtney was arrested in 1917 and lodged in
jail where he went on hunger strike. This undermined his health and on
his release his health broke down completely and he died. He was buried
at Passage with full military honors. In 1921, the Fianna were re-organized
into Battalions and Brigades along the same lines as the Volunteers. The
O/C of the Cork First Brigade was Frank McMahon, who became Chief of
Staff of the Fianna in 1922.
The Fianna mobilized for the
Easter Rising, but were demobilized due to Eoin McNeill's countermanding
order. The Fianna had its own active service unit in each Battalion
area. The work of the Active Service Units consisted mostly of raids on
Belfast Boycott goods, food supplies for the British Army and RIC, the
burning of British newspapers, post office mails and small cars, and
raids for bicycles.
In 1920, Patrick Hanley was
murdered by RIC in a series of murders in the
on the night of November 27 in reprisal for the shooting of an
RIC sergeant. Hanley's remains were laid out in
his Fianna uniform, in the mortuary of the
. The body was later removed to the
& Paul. He was buried in St Finbarr's Cemetery, the
being shouldered all the way to the cemetery by the dead boy's comrades.
A volley was fired over the grave and the Last Post was sounded by the
Fianna buglers. A short oration was delivered by a Fianna officer, who
exhorted the boys to be inspired by the work of Patrick Hanley and to
carry carefully the burning torch of freedom.
After the truce, when the
Volunteers took over the barracks from the British, many members of the
Fianna garrisoned them. During the Civil War, many
members of the Cork City Fianna were on active service in areas such as
Limerick Waterford, Kilmallock, Dungarvan and Passage.
After the evacuation of
by the Republicans, Fianna was completely disorganized for several
months. Some groups remained active in the Second Battalion area, under
Frank Nolan. At a later stage, a unit was formed in the
area, and this unit became the Fianna Active Service Unit in
the website http://fianna.gq.nu/history.htm