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Friday 14 December 2018

Past to meet present under the shadow of 'The Men of the South'

Denis, Andrew and Michael Hourigan, nephews of Michael O’Sullivan; Aideen Carroll, granddaughter of Sean Moylan and Fr JJ O Riordain, son of Jim O’Riordan at last Saturday’s seminar in Mallow
Denis, Andrew and Michael Hourigan, nephews of Michael O’Sullivan; Aideen Carroll, granddaughter of Sean Moylan and Fr JJ O Riordain, son of Jim O’Riordan at last Saturday’s seminar in Mallow

Bill Browne

Following on from a historic event in Mallow last weekend, another unique moment in time will be captured through the camera lens at the Crawford Gallery in Cork next  Saturday. 

At a seminar in Mallow Library last Saturday oral historian Maurice O'Keeffe aired never before heard recordings of the experiences of two north Cork men who fought through both the War of Independence and the Civil War. 

Recorded in the early 1970's by Kiskeam native Fr JJ O'Riordan, the tapes featured conversations  with his late father Jim, one of the men depicted in Sean Keating's famous painting 'Men of the South', and Séan Healy from Kilcorney. 

"The seminar was a really special occasion offering those present the chance to hear first hand accounts of life at a key turning point in Irish history," said Maurice. 

"These tapes are an important link to our past and as an oral historian myself it has been a huge privilege to be able to share them with the public," he added. 

The seminar was also attended by relatives of some of the men depicted in Keating's famous painting including three of Michael O'Sullivan's nephews, Sean Moylan's granddaughter Aideen Carroll, Fr O'Riordan and his sister Mary Moriarty. 

The recordings will be included in The Men of the South Oral History Collection, which will be officially launched by Maurice O'Keeffe next Saturday at 2.30pm in Cork's Crawford Gallery. 

Maurice said it was fitting that the launch was being held in the Crawford, as 'Men of the South' hangs proudly on the walls of the gallery. 

"In addition to the launch the descendants of the men depicted in 'Men of the South' will gather beneath the iconic painting to pose for a photograph," said Maurice. 

"This will be a truly historic image and I hope that members of the public will come along to the event and join with us in celebrating the lives of the men and women of north Cork who dedicated themselves to the cause of Irish freedom," he added.

Corkman

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