Thursday 19 January 2017

Putting the record straight on O'Donovan Rossa

Published 07/08/2015 | 02:30

O'Donovan Rossa
O'Donovan Rossa

It has previously been asserted that O'Donovan Rossa had lamented his previous political beliefs and converted to Home Rule and endorsed the Allies during the final years of his life. As the biographer of O'Donovan Rossa, I feel it my duty to highlight how this assumption is based upon evidence that is not historically credible and can easily be challenged.

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When O'Donovan Rossa died in 1915, a falsified report was circulated by the 'Daily Telegraph' purporting to come from its New York correspondent who said O'Donovan Rossa told him: "I have fought a good fight according to my views and long ago lost all hatred, let alone prejudice against the British government."

The report further went on to suggest that O'Donovan Rossa had called on Irishmen to join the British Army and "fight Germany, the common enemy of civilisation" in the course of the Great War.

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