Irish Independence

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  • Terence MacSwiney

In 1913 MacSwiney helped to found the Cork branch of the Irish Volunteers. When the group split over the issue of whether or not to support England in World War I, MacSwiney joined the group opposing such support.

On the outbreak of the 1916 Rising, the Volunteers in Cork, under the command of Tomás MacCurtain, were confused by contradictory orders from the leadership of the Volunteers and the clandestine Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). As a result, no rising took place in Cork. This 'failure' of Cork to rise in 1916 was to haunt MacSwiney for the rest of his life.
Wedding of Terence and Muriel MacSwiney
© Cork Public Museum.

Despite the fact that the Irish Volunteers dispersed without fighting in Cork, MacSwiney was imprisoned in Frongoch internment camp in Wales and later in Reading Gaol for his part in the planning of 1916. While still imprisoned, he married Muriel Murphy in Bromyard in England in June 1917.

Muriel was a member of the wealthy family of brewers in Cork. Terence and Muriel had one child, Máire, born in 1918. Máire would later marry Ruairí Brugha, son of another famous Republican, Cathal Brugha.