Wednesday 19 June 2019

1916 New Ross hero's birth date is verified

David Looby

A plaque bearing the wrong date of birth for 1916 Rising hero Michael O'Hanrahan in The Tholsel, New Ross, is being changed to the correct date of January 16, 1877.

Paul Horan Asst Professor Trinity College Dublin said Saturday marked the 139th anniversary of the Irish hero's birth. Next year will see a statue unveiled to O'Hanrahan in New Ross.

Mr Horan said: 'For close to 100 years historians and the patriot propagandists have perpetuated a lie about the date of birth of the executed 1916 leader and Irish Volunteers Quartermaster General during Easter week, namely Michael O'Hanrahan/Míceál O'hAnnrachain. According to the many history books and historical accounts of his life he grew up in Carlow's Tullow Street and was born in New Ross on St Patrick's Day, 1877.'

Mr Horan said even the rebellion's descendants believed this myth until recently.

'But this myth is simply not true. The executed Rising's leader's official birth certificate unearthed by myself and Pearse O'Hanrahan, the grand-nephew of Míceál O'hAnnrachain last year at the archives in Dublin for births, death and marriages clearly states that Michael was born in The Quays area of New Ross to Richard Hanrahan and Mary Hanrahan (née Williams) on January 16, 1877.'

According to the rate books of the era the family lived at 2 Marsh Lane just off the quays.

'Clearly it seemed more patriotic to have Míceál O'hAnnrachain's birthdate to coincide with the nation's patron saint. Was it not patriotic enough for a man to lay down his life to achieve the birth of a nation!'

New Ross Standard