Seán Treacy, “the Pearse of Munster”

There is a tradition that every time Tipperary makes it into the All-Ireland final, Tipperary fans commemorate Seán Treacy. At 12 noon the day of the final before heading to Croke Park they gather to say a rosary, read the Proclamation and sing Tipperary So Far Away at the site of his death in a gun battle with British forces on 14 October 1920 in Talbot Street, Dublin.

This blog post has an article by Desmond Ryan, Seán Treacy’s biographer, about the enigmatic figure. While Dan Breen’s fame eclipses his by far, Breen clearly modelled his image on the intelligent leader who had clear-minded military objectives, and was ready to kill in the process. He famously said to Terence McSwiney in 1918, “I would rather one peelers barracks than all your moral victories.” He had a poetic side too, which led Ryan to dub him “the Pearse of Munster”. “The spirit of freedom,” he told Patrick O’Dwyer of Hollyford, “is in the mountainy men.”

I took this video today (alas, the video containing John Hassett’s fiery speech isn’t uploading right now); Kilkenny may have put a damper on things this year, but no doubt Tipperary fans will be back at Croke Park, and Talbot Street, in years to come.

See this post for Tipperary hurler Pat Kerwick’s famous rendition of The Galtee Mountain Boy at Croke Park after Tipperary’s All-Ireland hurling final win of 2010.

The post I’m finishing at the moment describes a talk I went to in February in Thurles about the Ballycohey ambush (1868), described as “one of the most fateful incidents in nineteenth century Irish, and Anglo-Irish, history” but rarely referred to by modern historians. I still have to review Michael Keogh’s With Casement’s Irish Brigade; just so you know I haven’t forgotten.

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