Sunday 8 December 2019

Call to commemorate life of Rush's Jack 'Rover' McCann

Cllr Cathal Boland in costume in his role with the Fingal Old IRA Commemoration Society
Cllr Cathal Boland in costume in his role with the Fingal Old IRA Commemoration Society

Ken Phelan

A local independent councillor and historian has called for commemoration to be made for Rush man Jack 'Rover' McCann, who died on November 1920 during the War of Independence.

Cllr Cathal Boland (NP), speaking at a recent meeting of the council, said that a commemorative plaque had been commissioned for Mr McCann, but that a road or structure in Rush named in his memory would be more appropriate.

Born in Loughshinny in 1886, Jack McCann took part in the Battle of Ashbourne in 1916, and was subsequently one of the Volunteers who were ordered to surrender by Padraig Pearse.

He was marched from Newbarn Lane to Swords, where he, along with the other members of the Fingal brigade, was brought to Richmond Barracks.

From there, he was transported first to Knutsford Jail, and from there to Frongoch.

He was released in December 1916.

On Bloody Sunday, November 21 1920, the Black and Tans went on a rampage from their camp in Gormanston, arriving at McCann's house after midnight. From here, he was taken into an adjoining field and shot.

Cllr Boland said that, with Sherlock Park in Skerries named after local Volunteer Terry Sherlock, and Hand Street in Skerries named after republican Thomas Hand, a similar commemoration should be given to McCann.

Cllr Boland commended Fingal County Council for the 'extensive' programme which has been in place for the past number of years in commemorating the Easter Rising and the War of Independence.

He praised the manner in which the council had 'reached out' to various interest groups throughout Fingal during the Easter Rising decade of commemoration, which had raised interest in the War of Independence.

The council had particularly played a major part, he said, in organising the commemorative events of 2016, including the re-enactment of the battle of Ashbourne in Swords.

The council, he said, continued to give support to organisations which had an interest in these matters, and brought 'living history to the streets.'

Fingal Independent