Dramatic events of Leitrim’s history retold

Pat Donald McDermott, brother of Se�n Mac Diarmada (in centre), with his wife on left, son Terence, on right and granddaughter Patricia (Walsh) in front at Sean Man Diarmadas cottage, Kiltyclogher in 1943. (Photo from Leitrim County Library)
Ballinamore’s Cormac Ó Súilleabháin’s forthcoming book “Leitrim’s Republican Story 1900-2000” is going to be one the biggest and most comprehensive history books to come out of the county.

Ballinamore’s Cormac Ó Súilleabháin’s forthcoming book “Leitrim’s Republican Story 1900-2000” is going to be one the biggest and most comprehensive history books to come out of the county.

It has taken Cormac almost 13 years to write this 500 page book which includes 500 pictures that many have not set eyes on before.

The book starts with Leitrim’s involvement in the Spanish Armada and the 1798 Rebellion.

It follows the story of Sean Mac Diarmada and other Leitrim men in the Rising such as Paul Galligan from Carrigallen, Timothy Ward from Mohill who took part in the Howth gun-running and the Lord Mayor of Dublin at the time James Gallagher from Kiltyclogher.

The story of the War of Independence is dealt with in detail, the tragedy of Selton Hill and the victory over British forces at Sheemore are covered.

The Civil War brought further chaos with no less than 132 Leitrim people interned.

The 1930s revealed a supposed plot to kill De Valera when he spoke at a meeting in Ballinamore on 13 April 1932. A day later, Paddy Reynolds TD was shot dead in Fenagh along with Detective Patrick McGeehan.

By the end of the decade relationships between De Valera and the Republican Movement had become strained and 33 Leitrim republicans were to spend most of World War II interned in the Curragh.

These men included John Joe McGirl from Aughnasheelin; the McCormack brothers and Patrick McWeeney from Kiltubrid; Stephen Rynn from Ballinaglera; Farrell Gallagher and Mick Gilhooly from Aughnasheelin; Seán Maxwell and Bob Flanagan from Drumsna; John McManus, Jim Keane, Packie Joe Dolan and Jim Lynch from Drumshanbo; Frank Beirne from Drumcong; Paud Farrelly and the McLoughlin brothers from Ballinamore; Paddy Carthy from Carrick-on-Shannon and others.

The book also tells the story of the Orange Order in Leitrim and Unionism in the early 1900s.

Ó Súilleabháin’s book will be launched at three venues: The Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon on September 18; The Standing Stone Hotel, Ballinamore on September 19 and in the Bee Park Community Centre, Manorhamilton on September 20 at 8.30pm.

All are welcome to attend.