The interviewees include descendants of men and women involved in the War Of Independence and the Irish Civil War. Some are children of those involved, others are grandsons and grand children. Others are, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews. Those taking part are spread across all age groups from their 20’s to their 90’s. A number of local historians provide further background and context, a number of them also having had ancestors involved in the conflicts. Those listed below give an indication to the range of those who have been interviewed.
Orla Ryan speaks about her grandmother and grandaunt who were members of Cumann na mBan in the Ballymacarbary area. Her account of her grandaunt being moved from Mountjoy to North Dublin Union is harrowing. Orla explains the importance to her of remembering her ancestors.
Tommy Mooney is the author of The Cry of The Curlew. He shares stories about his father from the period and provides background for the Piltown Ambush and activity in West Waterford. Tommy recalls the story of his father like may others being forced to go to the USA and subsequently returning to Ireland
Síle Murphy speaks about the work done by her late husband Seán Murphy interviewing and writing about the people who were involved in the conflicts and she provides an insight to some of the leaders from West Waterford who she would have met when they visited the Murphy house in the 1980s.
Judith Flynn recalls her father George Kiely who was involved in both the War of Independence and the Civil War. She shares stories of his life as a journalist subsequent to the conflict and his death at a relatively young age probably due to the hardship he experienced during the two conflicts.
Dermot Power provides in depth background to the history and politics of Waterford City down the years and shares stories about his grand uncle who was an IRA quartermaster in the city. Dermot also gives and insight to how support for the IRA continued for decades after the Civil War.
Ivan Lennon is the son of George Lennon who played a major leadership role in the IRA in Dungarvan during the War Of Independence. Ivan shares very poignant details about his father’s role in the shooting of RIC Sgt Hickey after the Burgery Ambush and the life long impact including PTSD, that it had on his life and that of his family.
Brendan Mansfield is the grandson of Mick Mansfield and provides us with a fascinating story of how Mick had to escape the Free State troops after the Civil War and ended up worked in a logging camp in Canada. After returning to Ireland, Mick worked as a bodyguard for DeValera and had a senior role in the Garda Síochána. He subsequently resigned from the Garda Síochána when he was unhappy with the way DeValeara treated former IRA comrades. You can get a real sense of what Mick experienced in his life in this very emotional interview with Brendan.
Fiona Power gives us a wonderful sense of the stories and pride that have been passed down the generations from her grandmother who was one of the Rebel Sisters from Kilmacthomas.
Martin Coffey speaks about his father who was in the IRA and took part in the Piltown Ambush. For economic reasons his father subsequently went on to join the Free State army during the Civil War. Martin who has strong republican views is equally proud of his father.
John Collender gives us a detailed account of his grandmother Birdie Hanley who was a very active member of Cumann na mBan. In addition to outlining her role in The Burgery Ambush he provides a wonderful insight to her personality and her sadness over the Civil War.
Wlliam Whelan is a local historian and author. He shares stories about his grandfather who was in the IRA in Abbeyside while at the same time he also had grand uncles in the Royal Navy. William expresses the view that everyone should be remembered and commemorated from all sides of the conflict.
Therese Butler speaks about her father Jack O’Meara who was present when Liam Lynch died in 1923. Jack O’Meara subsequently escaped from jail in Clonmel and made his way to the USA. He returned to Ireland in the 1930s to take up a commission in the Irish Army when DeVelara came back into power. Therese who was born in the USA remembers her journey in the ship back to Ireland.
Garvan Cummins is a local history enthusiast who had a grandfather who was in the IRA and other members of that family followed a Fine Gael tradition. Garvan provides interesting opinions and viewpoints from a number of different perspectives.
Michael Desmond is a local historian from Ballymacarbry. He provides an overview of what what happened in that part of the county during the conflicts. He speaks in some detail about his grandaunt Nan Ormond and her role in Cunann na mBan and also gives us an insight to her fascinating personality. While many could or would not talk about the period Michael tells us “she could not stop talking about the period”.
John Quinlan is the nephew of brothers Pat and Thomas Keating. Pat Keating was killed in the War Of Independence at the Burgery Ambush while Thomas Keating was killed in the Civil War. The story of Pat Keating is well known but that of Thomas is is not. Thomas was shot on the 11th of April 1923 the day after Liam Lynch died. Thomas was making his way back to Kilrossanty when he was shot and wounded by the Free State troops. John provides a very poignant and emotional account of what happened that day.
Bridget Lonergan and Honor Donnelly. Bridget and her daughter Honor share stories about Birdget’s mother Norah McGrath who was a member of Cumann na mBan during the War Of Independence and the Civil War. Honor recalls that her grandmother was a very strong woman. Bridget recalls how important it was that the tri-colour was placed on her coffin in the church at her funeral.
Pat Ormond provides us with some very detailed and fascinating stories about his father Paddy Ormond who was involved in both the War Of Independence and the Civil war. Paddy was seriously wounded near the end of the Civil War and the toll it took on him in later life. He talks about the role his father played in encouraging his children to live their own lives and move on from the past.
William Fraher is the curator of Waterford County Museum and author of The Bad Times – Waterford Country Houses During The Revolutionary Period. William provides some very interesting details about the retreat of the IRA after the siege of Waterford and also an insight to how a number of the families adjusted to life in the new Ireland.
James Doherty is a Waterford Historian and provides a great overview of what was happening during the conflict with particular emphasis on Waterford City. He explains the difference between those involved in West Waterford versus those involved in Waterford City and the challenges they faced.
Eddie Cantwell and Chrissy Knight O’Connor are the authors of Waterford Women of the Revolution 1914-1923. The provide great insight to Cumann na mBan during that period and have been invaluable in putting us in touch with descendants of Cuman na mBan members.