Touch history while you can
At that time, I knew next to nothing of Kilmichael; Cadet Cecil Guthrie; or the effect the ambush and the death of Terence MacSwiney had in heightening tensions so that when the British Army were ambushed at Dillon’s Cross on the night of 11th December, 1920, it led to the Burning of Cork.
If I had the knowledge and interest then, the chance to hear first-hand of that period may have been available – an opportunity that passed by.
From even further back than 25 years, I remember seeing Michael O’Riordan on the television, particularly in and around election times. I remember him speaking on behalf of the Communist Party of Ireland.
I had no knowledge of his involvement in the Spanish Civil War; or, his book, The Connolly Column which led Christy Moore to write Viva La Quinta Brigada – a book that POF kindly gifted to me and which has come down off the shelf and onto the ‘For Reading’ pile.
I would like to think that I would have sought out an opportunity to listen first hand to his experiences in Spain – but that possible chance to touch history had passed unaware.
Last Saturday, I spotted a wreath on Pope’s Quay in the distinctive Republican colours. Very many thanks to Pat Cadogan.
I stood, with my 11 year old, and we again remembered – leaving a small memento.
Sunday, I watched again the Cathal O’Shannon documentary ‘Even the Olives are Bleeding’ and a documentary on Michael O’Riordan where it is suggested that the first communist in Ireland might have been St. Finnbarr.
All of which is a reminder to self to grasp those opportunities and experiences that might be passing by……..