McCorley, the son of a miller, and is born near Toome in the civil parish of Duneane, County Antrim, in what is now Northern Ireland. A few years before the Irish Rebellion of 1798, his father is believed to have been executed for stealing sheep. These charges appear to be politically motivated in an attempt to remove a troublesome agitator at a time of great social unrest. Following his father’s execution, his family is evicted from their home.
There is uncertainty as to whether McCorley is actually actively involved with the predominantly Presbyterian United Irishmen or the predominantly CatholicDefenders. His role in the 1798 rebellion itself is unrecorded. In a ballad called “Roddy McCorley” written in the 1890s by Ethna Carbery, he is claimed to have been one of the leaders of the United Irishmen at the Battle of Antrim, however there is no contemporary documentary evidence to support this claim or prove that he was even active in the rebellion.
After the rebellion, McCorley joins a notorious outlaw gang known as Archer’s Gang, made up of former rebels and led by Thomas Archer. Some of these men had been British soldiers who changed sides in the conflict, and as such are guilty of treason and thus exempt from the terms of amnesty offered to the rank and file of the United Irishmen. This means that they are always on the run in an attempt to evade capture. This “quasi-rebel” group are claimed to have attacked loyalists and participated in common crime. It is believed that McCorley is caught while in hiding, having been betrayed by an informer.
After McCorley is arrested he is tried by court martial in Ballymena on February 20, 1800, and sentenced to be hanged “near the Bridge of Toome,” in the parish of Duneane. His execution occurs on February 28, 1800. The bridge had been partially destroyed by rebels in 1798 to prevent the arrival of loyalist reinforcements from west of the River Bann.
McCorley’s body is then dismembered and buried under the gallows, on the main Antrim to Derry road. A letter published in the Belfast News Letter a few days after his execution gives an account of the execution and how he was viewed by some. In it he is called Roger McCorley, which may be his proper Christian name.
In addition to Ethna Carbery’s ballad, historian Guy Beiner uncovers earlier references to McCorley in Presbyterian folklore, which he shows to have been repeatedly forgotten and obscured on the background of mainstream Presbyterian identification with Unionism.
An account of McCorley’s career compiled in the early twentieth century from local traditions and correspondence with his descendants, Who Fears to Speak of ’98?, is written by the Belfast antiquary and nationalist Francis Joseph Bigger. It contains an edited version of an early 19th-century ballad about Roddy McCorley’s fate.
The Solomons come to Ireland from England in 1824. Solomons is the son of Maurice Solomons (1832–1922), an optician whose practice is mentioned in James Joyce‘s Ulysses. His grandmother, Rosa Jacobs Solomons (1833–1926), is born in Hull in England. His elder brother Edwin (1879–1964) is a stockbroker and prominent member of the Dublin Jewish community. His sister Estella Solomons (1882–1968) is a leading artist, and a member of Cumann na mBan during the 1916 Easter Rising. She marries poet and publisher Seumas O’Sullivan. His younger sister Sophie is a trained opera singer.
Solomons attends St. Andrew’s College, Dublin, where he is very interested in rugby. He earns ten international rugby caps for Ireland between 1908 and 1910. He studies medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, becomes a medical doctor, and is Master of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin from 1926 to 1933, surprising those who felt that a Jew would never hold the post. When his term ends in 1933, his name is intimately linked with that of the hospital when James Joyce writes in Finnegans Wake, “in my bethel of Solyman’s I accouched my rotundaties.” He serves as president of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) in the late 1940s and practices from No. 30 Lower Baggot Street.
In a biography of Solomons he is described as “World famous obstetrician & gynaecologist, Rugby international, horseman, leader of Liberal Jewry & of Irish literary & artistic renaissance.”
Solomons is a friend of the founder of Sinn Féin and TD, Arthur Griffith. He contributes to the purchase of a house for Griffith. He is a founding member and the first president of the Liberal Synagogue in Dublin. He establishes a dispensary for Jewish women with Ada Shillman. In retirement he is inspector of qualifying examinations and visitor of medical schools in midwifery for the general medical council. A volume of memoirs is published in 1956. He is an art collector, including the works of Jean Cooke.
Solomons dies on September 11, 1965, at his home, Laughton Beg, Rochestown Avenue, Dún Laoghaire. The Bethel Solomons medal is awarded annually to an outstanding student in midwifery at the hospital.
After some years as curate at St. Paul’s Church, Dublin, Murray is transferred to Arklow, and is there in 1798 when the rebellion breaks out. The yeomanry shoot the parish priest in bed and Murray, to escape a similar fate, flees to the city where for two years he serves as curate at St. Andrew’s Chapel on Hawkins Street. As a preacher, he is said to be particularly effective, especially in appeals for charitable causes, such as the schools. He is then assigned to the Chapel of St. Mary in Upper Liffey Street where Archbishop John Troy is the parish priest.
Murray is an uncompromising opponent of a proposal granting the British government a “veto” over Catholic ecclesiastical appointments in Ireland, and in 1814 and 1815, makes two separate trips to Rome concerning the controversy.
Murray becomes Archbishop of Dublin in 1825 and on November 14, 1825 celebrates the completion of St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. He enjoys the confidence of successive popes and is held in high respect by the British government. His life is mainly devoted to ecclesiastical affairs, the establishment and organisation of religious associations for the education and relief of the poor. With the outbreak of cholera in the 1830s, in 1834 he and Mother Aikenhead found St. Vincent’s Hospital. He persuades Edmund Rice to send members of the Christian Brothers to Dublin to start a school for boys. The first is opened in a lumber yard on the City-quay. He assists Catherine McAuley in founding the Sisters of Mercy, and in 1831 professes the first three members.
Edward Bouverie Pusey has an interview with Murray in 1841, and bears testimony to his moderation, and John Henry Newman has some correspondence with him prior to Newman’s conversion from the Anglican Church to the Roman Catholic Church in 1845. A seat in the privy council at Dublin, officially offered to him in 1846, is not accepted. He takes part in the synod of the Roman Catholic clergy at Thurles in 1850.
Towards the end of his life, Murray’s eyesight is impaired, and he reads and writes with difficulty. Among his last priestly functions is a funeral service for Richard Lalor Sheil who had died in Italy, and whose body had been brought back to Ireland for burial. Murray dies in Dublin on February 26, 1852, at the age of eighty-four. He is interred in the St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, where a marble statue of him has been erected in connection with a monument to his memory, executed by James Farrell, president of the Royal Hibernian Academy of Fine Arts.
(Pictured: Portrait of Daniel Murray, Archbishop of Dublin, by unknown 19th century Irish portrait painter)
Bardwell is born to Irish parents William Hone and Mary Collise and moves to Ireland at the age of two. Her father’s family are of the Anglo-IrishHone family. She has a difficult childhood growing up in Leixlip, County Kildare. She is educated at Alexandra College and briefly studies in Switzerland. She works in a variety of jobs in Ireland and later Scotland, where, in 1948, she meets poet Michael Bardwell. The couple has two children and later separate.
Bardwell becomes a part of the literary scene of Soho in London, where she socialises with fellow writers, including Anthony Cronin, Francis Bacon, Patrick Kavanagh and Anthony Burgess. In the 1950s, she meets Fintan McLachlan, with whom she has three children, including the composer, John McLachlan. The family moves back to Dublin, where she works as a reviewer for Hibernia magazine and as a poetry editor.
From 1970 onward, Bardwell’s work is published regularly, starting with her first volume of poetry, The Mad Cyclist, which is later followed by her first novel, Girl on a Bicycle. She writes a number of plays and short stories, such as Outpatients, and her works are produced for RTÉ and the BBC. In 1984, she writes a musical play, No Regrets, based on the life of Édith Piaf. It opens at the Gaiety Theatre starring Anne Bushnell, and later tours across Ireland.
Bardwell’s work is heavily influenced by her difficult upbringing and her experiences in London and Dublin. In her memoir, A Restless Life, she describes her life as “a crescendo of madness.” She is considered an important poet by her contemporaries, who include Patrick Kavanagh, John Jordan, Paul Durcan, Macdara Woods and Michael Hartnett. On the publication of her fourth collection of poetry, The White Beach, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain states “it is good to see her work of the decades collected – it has inspired many Irish poets, male and female, and should be much more widely known,” adding that her work is “witty, full of sharp intimate honesty, full of truth and surprises.”
In 1975, Bardwell co-founds the long running literary magazine Cyphers with Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Macdara Woods, and acts as a co-editor until 2012. She is the recipient of the Marten Toonder Award in 1993, and the Dede Korkut Short Story Award from Turkish PEN in 2010.
In later life, Bardwell moves to Annamakarraig in County Monaghan and later to Cloonagh in County Sligo, where in 1993 she co-founds the Scríobh Literary Festival. She is a member of the Irish artists’ association Aosdána and acts as one of Patrick Kavanagh’s literary executors.
Bardwell dies at the age of 94 in Sligo, County Sligo, on June 28, 2016.
A trained barrister, Pery becomes a member of the Irish House of Commons for the Wicklow Borough constituency in 1751. On the dissolution of the house following the death of George II, he is elected for the constituency of Limerick City and serves from 1761 until 1785, becoming Speaker of the House in 1771. In 1783, he stands also for Dungannon, however chooses to sit for Limerick City. He is considered one of the most powerful politicians in Ireland in his time, leading a faction which includes his nephew, the future Earl of Limerick, and his relatives by marriage, the Hartstonges. Following his resignation, he is created Viscount Pery, of Newtown Pery, near the City of Limerick, in the Peerage of Ireland, entitling him to a seat in the Irish House of Lords. As he has no male heirs, his title becomes extinct on his death in 1806.
Pery is also noted for his part in the history of the architecture of Limerick. In 1765, he commissions the engineer Davis Ducart to design a town plan for land that he owns on the southern edge of the existing city, which leads to the construction of the Georgian area of the city later known as Newtown Pery. He is also commemorated in the naming of Pery Square.
Pery marries Patricia (Patty) Martin of Dublin in 1756, who dies a year later, and secondly Elizabeth Vesey, daughter of John Vesey, 1st Baron Knapton, and Elizabeth Brownlow. He and Elizabeth have two daughters:
Rinuccini departs France from Saint-Martin-de-Ré near La Rochelle on October 18, 1645, on the frigate San Pietro and arrives in Kenmare, County Kerry, on October 21, 1645, with a retinue of twenty-six Italians, several Irish officers, and the Confederation’s secretary, Richard Bellings. He proceeds to Kilkenny, the Confederate capital, where Richard Butler, 3rd Viscount Mountgarret, the president of the Confederation, receives him at the castle. He speaks Latin to Montgarret, but all the official business of the Confederates is done in English. He asserts in his discourse that the object of his mission is to sustain the King, but above all to help the Catholic people of Ireland in securing the free and public exercise of their religion, and the restoration of the churches and church property to the Catholic Church.
Rinuccini had sent ahead arms and ammunition: 1,000 braces of pistols, 4,000 cartridge belts, 2,000 swords, 500 muskets and 20,000 pounds of gunpowder. He arrives twelve days later with a further two thousand muskets and cartridge-belts, four thousand swords, four hundred braces of pistols, two thousand pike-heads, and twenty thousand pounds of gunpowder, fully equipped soldiers and sailors and 150,658 livres tournois to finance the Irish Catholic war effort. These supplies give him a huge input into the Confederate’s internal politics because he doles out the money and arms for specific military projects, rather than handing them over to the Confederate government, or Supreme Council.
Rinuccini hopes that by doing so he can influence the Confederates’ strategic policy away from making a deal with Charles I and the Royalists in the English Civil War and towards the foundation of an independent Catholic-ruled Ireland. In particular, he wants to ensure that churches and lands taken in the rebellion would remain in Catholic hands. This is consistent with what happened in Catholic-controlled areas during the Thirty Years’ War in Germany. His mission can be seen as part of the Counter-Reformation in Europe. He also has unrealistic hopes of using Ireland as a base to re-establish Catholicism in England. However, apart from some military successes such as the Battle of Benburb on June 5, 1646, the main result of his efforts is to aggravate the infighting between factions within the Confederates.
The Confederates’ Supreme Council is dominated by wealthy landed magnates, predominantly of “Old English” origin, who are anxious to come to a deal with the Stuart monarchy that will guarantee them their land ownership, full civil rights for Catholics, and toleration of Catholicism. They form the moderate faction, which is opposed by those within the Confederation, who want better terms, including self-government for Ireland, a reversal of the land confiscations of the plantations of Ireland and establishment of Catholicism as the state religion. A particularly sore point in the negotiations with the English Royalists is the insistence of some Irish Catholics on keeping in Catholic hands the churches taken in the war. Rinuccini accepts the assurances of the Supreme Council that such concerns will be addressed in the peace treaty negotiated with James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond, negotiated in 1646, now known as the First Ormond Peace.
However, when the terms are published, they grant only the private practice of Catholicism. Alleging that he had been deliberately deceived, Rinuccini publicly backs the militant faction, which includes most of the Catholic clergy and some Irish military commanders such as Owen Roe O’Neill. On the other side there are the Franciscans Pierre Marchant, and later Raymond Caron. In 1646, when the Supreme Council tries to get the Ormond Peace ratified, Rinuccini excommunicates them and helps to get the Treaty voted down in the Confederate General Assembly. The Assembly has the members of the Supreme Council arrested for treason and elects a new Supreme Council.
However, the following year, the Confederates’ attempts to drive the remaining English (mainly Parliamentarian) armies from Ireland meets with disaster at the battles of Dungan’s Hill on August 8, 1647 and Knocknanuss on November 13, 1647. As a result, the chastened Confederates hastily conclude a new deal with the English Royalists to try to prevent a Parliamentarian conquest of Ireland in 1648. Although the terms of this second deal are better than those of the first one, Rinuccini again tries to overturn the treaty. However, on this occasion, the Catholic clergy are split on whether to accept the deal, as are the Confederate military commanders and the General Assembly. Ultimately, the treaty is accepted by the Confederacy, which then dissolves itself and joins a Royalist coalition. Rinuccini backs Owen Roe O’Neill, who used his Ulster army to fight against his former comrades who had accepted the deal. He tries in vain to repeat his success of 1646 by excommunicating those who support the peace. However, the Irish bishops are split on the issue and so his authority is diluted. Militarily, Owen Roe O’Neill is unable to reverse the political balance.
Despairing of the Catholic cause in Ireland, Rinnuccini leaves the country on February 23, 1649, embarking at Galway on the ship that had brought him to Ireland, the frigate San Pietro. In the same year, Oliver Cromwell leads a Parliamentarian re-conquest of the country, after which Catholicism is thoroughly repressed. Roman Catholic worship is banned, Irish Catholic-owned land is widely confiscated east of the River Shannon, and captured Catholic clergy are executed.
Rinuccini returns to Rome, where he writes an extensive account of his time in Ireland, the Commentarius Rinuccinanus. His account blames personal vainglory and tribal divisions for the Catholic disunity in Ireland. In particular, he blames the Old English for the eventual Catholic defeat. The Gaelic Irish, he writes, despite being less civilised, are more sincere Catholics.
Rinuccini returns to his diocese in Fermo in June 1650 and dies there on December 13, 1653.
King is the son of Henry King, businessman, of Rathdrum, and Susan King (née Crowe). He is educated at the Church of Ireland Ranelagh School, Athlone, and at Mountjoy School, Clontarf, Dublin (1936–39). Subsequently he joins the printing firm of W. & S. McGowan in Dundalk, where he goes on to become a director. During the 1940s his interest in amateur drama leads him to take classes at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, where his fellow students include Milo O’Shea and Eamonn Andrews. Around this time, he is also involved in An Óige (the Irish Youth Hostel Association), in which he serves as honorary national secretary and honorary treasurer. This involvement leads him to travel extensively from the late 1940s around Europe, where he visits many major art museums and galleries.
King begins to acquire works of art, by both European and Irish artists, and by the mid-1950s he has amassed one of the most important collections of modern art in Ireland. Around 1954 he himself begins to paint, under the guidance of Barbara Warren and the English artist Neville Johnson. In his early work he focuses on urban scenes, often based on the area of Ringsend, Dublin, where he uses subdued tones to produce poetic images of a sombre mood. Even here his interest in the formal qualities of painting – such as the flatness of the picture surface and the juxtaposition of areas of colour on it, which becomes a defining feature of his art – is evident. In 1964 he leaves his successful business career behind in order to devote himself entirely to art, a bold move considering the limited audience for modern art that exists in Ireland at the time. In his own words he recalls how “Painting was what I wanted to do, I realised I didn’t need a car. I could do without an awful lot of things.” (Sunday Independent, November 7, 1982)
By this time, King is working in a fully abstract style. However, he still draws his inspiration from the external world, particularly the milieu of the circus. A painting such as Trapeze (1976; Allied Irish Bank collection) shows how he responds to acrobatic performance, not in any literal or figurative sense, but to the tensions and balances inherent within it. The overall effect is to convey to the viewer the essence of anticipation of the performance. Indeed, his works can create an almost physical sense of involvement on the part of the viewer. This is especially true of his Berlin Suite, a series of screen-prints produced as a result of a visit to East Berlin and published by Editions Alecto of London (1970). He is also inspired to produce a number of paintings on this theme of the claustrophobia of the divided city. Ultimately, he aspires to create works which, with their economy and restraint, achieve a meticulously balanced harmony. This concern leads him, in such works as the Baggot Street Series, to move away from even the most veiled figurative references, evidence for the fact that he constantly strives to further his artistic explorations.
King often works seven days a week. This quiet determination contributes in no small part to the international standing he soon achieves, as does his prolific record as an exhibitor. Writing a foreword to an exhibition of his work at Kilkenny in 1975, the critic William Packer finds that King’s art “confounds the expectations we might have of Irish art, for it is far from local in ambition, accomplishment, and seriousness.” He mounts over twenty-five one-man exhibitions and contributes to a large number of group shows in Ireland and abroad. A significant proportion of his output is to be found in galleries in Europe and the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Tate Gallery, London. He is also represented in the major public and corporate collections in Ireland, such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Ulster Museum, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Crawford Municipal Gallery, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Arts Council, Aer Lingus, Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank, and ESB. In fact, King, with his hard-edge abstract style, is one of the very few artists working in Ireland at the time whose work is comparable to that of the major (principally American) international exponents of abstraction. The term “hard-edge,” applied to King’s style, may however belie the subtlety he could achieve in terms of his handling of colour and texture. This is particularly true of his works in the media of pastel and tapestry, while his last paintings show a tendency towards more expressive brushwork and a more complex approach to colour.
King enjoys a happy relationship with Oliver Dowling from 1960 to the time of his death, at Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, on April 7, 1986, having suffered a heart attack just three days before an exhibition of his work is due to open in Dublin at the Oliver Dowling Gallery. His legacy is not alone artistic: he also makes a significant contribution to the promotion of modern art in Ireland in his capacity as a member of the organising committee for the Rosc exhibition since its inception in the 1960s, where his wide knowledge of international art is much respected. A member of Aosdána, he twice serves as commissioner for the Department of Foreign Affairs cultural committee. He is also generous in his encouragement of young artists, whose work he regularly adds to his own collection.
(From: “King, Cecil” by Rebecca Minch, Dictionary of Irish Biography, http://www.dib.ie, May 2012 | Pictured: Abstract, Oil on Canvas by Cecil King)
Ryan is Professor of Oriental Languages at University College Dublin before his appointment by Pope Paul VI as Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland on December 29, 1971. Maintaining his connection and interest in oriental studies, he serves as chairman of the trustees of the Chester Beatty Library from 1978 to 1984.
During his term, Ryan consolidates much of the expansion of the Archdiocese which had taken place during the term of his predecessor. He also oversees the fuller implementation of the reforms of Vatican II. He is particularly interested in liturgical reform.
As Archbishop, Ryan gives the people of Dublin a public park on a site earmarked by his predecessors for a proposed cathedral. It is named “Archbishop Ryan Park” in his honour. The land, at Merrion Square, is a gift from the archbishop to the city of Dublin.
Ryan is named in the Murphy Report, released in 2009, on sexual abuse of children in Dublin. His actions in respect of complaints against priest Fr. McNamee are described in the report as “an example of how, throughout the 1970s, the church authorities were more concerned with the scandal that would be created by revealing Fr. McNamee’s abuse rather than any concern for the abused.” He also does not act on complaints against other priests who are also subsequently confirmed to be abusers.
In January 2010, after Ryan has been criticised in the Murphy Report the previous year, Dublin City Council seeks public views on renaming “Archbishop Ryan Park.” Later that same year it is renamed “Merrion Square Park” by the City Council.
The Shankill Butchers, a gang of eleven Ulster loyalists, are sentenced to life imprisonment on February 20, 1979, for 112 offences including nineteen murders. Many of the gang are members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) that is active between 1975 and 1982 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The gang is based in the Shankill area and is responsible for the deaths of at least 23 people, most of whom are killed in sectarian attacks. The gang is notorious for kidnapping, torturing and murdering random or suspected Catholic civilians. Each is beaten ferociously and has their throat hacked with a butcher’s knife. Some are also tortured and attacked with a hatchet. The gang also kills six Ulster Protestants over personal disputes, and two other Protestants mistaken for Catholics.
Most of the Butchers are eventually captured and eleven of them come to trial during 1978 and early 1979. On February 20, 1979, the eleven men are convicted of a total of nineteen murders, and the 42 life sentences handed out are the longest combined prison sentences in United Kingdom legal history.
William Moore pleads guilty to eleven counts of murder and Bobby “Basher” Bates pleads guilty to ten counts. The trial judge, Lord Justice Turlough O’Donnell, says that he does not wish to be cast as “public avenger” but feels obliged to sentence the two to life imprisonment with no chance of release. Gang leader Lenny Murphy and his two chief “lieutenants,” however, escape prosecution.
In summing-up, Lord Justice O’Donnell states that their crimes, “a catalogue of horror”, are “a lasting monument to blind sectarian bigotry.” After the trial, Detective Chief Inspector Jimmy Nesbitt, head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Murder Squad in Tennent Street Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base and the man charged with tracking down the Butchers, comments, “The big fish got away,” a reference to Murphy (referred to in court as “Mr. X” or the “Master Butcher”) and to Messrs “A” and “B.”
Lenny Murphy is assassinated by a Provisional Irish Republican Army hit squad early in the evening of November 16, 1982, outside the back of his girlfriend’s house in the Glencairn estate. The IRA is likely acting with loyalist paramilitaries who perceive him as a threat.
The first of the Butchers to be released from prison is John Townsley, who had been only fourteen when he became involved with the gang and sixteen when arrested. Bobby Bates is released in October 1996, two years after the paramilitary ceasefires of 1994. He reportedly “found religion” behind bars. He is shot and killed in the upper Shankill area on June 11, 1997, by the son of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) man he had killed in the Windsor Bar. “Mr. B”, John Murphy, dies in a car accident in Belfast in August 1998. William Moore is the final member of the gang to be released from prison in August 1998, in accordance with the Good Friday Agreement, after over twenty-one years behind bars. He dies on May 17, 2009, from a suspected heart attack at his home.
The investigations by Martin Dillon, author of The Shankill Butchers: A Case Study of Mass Murder (1989 and 1998), suggests that a number of other individuals (whom he is unable to name for legal reasons) escape prosecution for participation in the crimes of the Butchers and that the gang are responsible for a total of at least thirty murders.
The Butchers brought a new level of paramilitary violence to a country already hardened by death and destruction.
Trinity College Dublin confers an honorary doctorate of Doctor of Laws upon her in 1960. After her retirement in 1967 she is active in public life, serving as a governor of Alexandra College and as a director of The Irish Times. She is requested by the Government to chair the Commission on the Status of Women in 1970 and the Beere Report is presented to the Minister for Finance in December 1972. The report provides a model for change in equal pay, the Civil Service marriage bar (which requires female civil servants to resign from their position upon marriage) and the widow’s pension. Her name is mentioned as a possible candidate for the Irish presidency in 1976.