On the coming Saturday, February 4, at 2pm at Shrone, near Rathmore, a commemoration will be held at the road side monument about a mile east of Shrone church.
Here, 17-year-old Michael McSweeney was killed in action on February 4th 1923. This is a community-based and non-political event to mark one hundred years exactly since the day of his death.
The monument was unveiled in the late 1950s and the National Graves Association has just finished cleaning the monument in preparation for Saturday’s commemoration.
The sad story of Michael McSweeney is told in Kerry author and historian, Tim Horgan’s book Dying for the Cause and in Jeremiah Murphy’s When Youth was Mine.
On Sunday, February 4, 1923, Michael McSweeney was shot dead by the National Army while he was attending a dance at the farm of a man named Moynihan at Shrone. It was reported that the dance was being held to raise funds for the Irregulars. Sentries posted by the Irregulars were surprised by the National Army.
When the National Army troops entered the house McSweeney was reported to have fired on them, he was shot dead when fire was returned. Six other well-known Irregulars from the Rathmore district were arrested.