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Relief plaque, Seamus Murphy RHA, 'War of Independence memorial'

29 Mar 2021

Limestone and bronze: 'War of Independence memorial', 1947, relief, 221 cm × 323 cm

Ref: UCCHS.1948.007 © University College Cork

Sculptor: Séamus Murphy RHA (1907-1975). 
Séamus Murphy Catalogue No 213 (p19, p160 (photo), p182 (photo), p183). 

Provenance: The monument was commissioned by the Cork Gaol Memorial Committee, chaired by Mr P. Crofts. Both this relief and the grave monument were unveiled on Sunday, 11 July 1948 (advertisement, Cork Examiner, 10/07/1948, p6) by Eamon de Valéra TD. A report of the event was published in the Cork Examiner (12/07/1948, p5, with photos p3). More information about the grave, the County Gaol and the unveiling in 1948 is available here.

Conservation: 2017 by FMP Architects and Joe Costello (Stone Mad Ltd), stonemason.

 

The inscription in Irish lists the names of 18 men who died during the War of Independence, 13 of whom are buried in the gaol itself. The bronze frame is surmounted by the Irish Army crest. Located at the front of the former Men’s Gaol (previously called the County Gaol), Cork (Gaol Walk, UCC). 

The Irish Army badge was designed in 1913 by Eoin MacNeill, a founding member and chairman of the Irish Volunteers. The Free State Army adopted the badge for their new uniforms before the Irish Civil War in June 1922. The design of the badge is described in the Irish Defence Force Regulations 1962 (unrestricted). Article A9 (Dress): Irish Defence Forces. 1962.

The portico of the former Cork County Gaol is on the register of the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) (Reg. No. 20866134).

 

Inscription

Left panel

Beidh iomrádh orthu imeasc a muintire cuimhneóidh an uile ghlún iad agus mórfaidh said a n-ainm

Pádraig Mac Piarais

 

Central panel

Airm poblachta na hÉireann

Briogáid 1 Corcaigh

Do básuigheadh i mBearraic Mhíleata Chorcaighe

Muiris Ó Mordha

Óglach

An Cóbh

CO. A

Cath 4

28.4.1921

Pádraig Ó Súilleabháin

Óglach

An Cóbh

CO. A

Cath. 4

28.4.1921

Pádraig Ó Mathghamhna

Óglach

Domhnach Mhór

CO. C

Cath. 6

28.2.1921

Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh

Óglach

Domhnach Mhór

CO. C

Cath. 6

28.2.1921

Seán Ó Leighin

Óglach

Achadh Bolg

CO. D

Cath. 6

28.2.1921

Domhnall Ó Ceallacháin

Óglach

An Dribseach

CO. E

Cath. 6

28.2.1921

Tomás Ó Briain

Óglach

An Dribseach

CO. E

Cath. 6

28.2.1921

Séamus Bároid

 

Sliabh na Giuise

 

Cath. 6

22.3.1921

 

D’éag le linn stailc ocrais

Seosamh Ó Murchadha

Óglach

Corcaigh

CO. C

Cath. 2

25.10.1920

 

Do básuigheadh i bPriosún Corcaighe

Liam Ó hEalathaigh

Óglach

Domhnach Mór

CO. E

Cath. 1

13.3.1923

 

Briogáid 2 Corcaigh

Do básuigheadh i mBearraic Mhileata Chorcaighe

Domhnall Ó Briain

Óglach

Lios Cearbhaill

CO. A

Cath. 3

16.5.1921

Pádraig Ó Ronáin

Óglach

Rath an Toiteáin

CO. C

Cath. 5

28.4.1921

Tomás Ó Maolchatha

Óglach

Rath an Toiteáin

CO. C

Cath. 5

28.4.1921

Conchubhar Ó Murchadha

 

Baile Uí Dhálaigh

CO. A

Cath. 1

21.2.1921

 

D’éag le linn stailc ocrais

Mícheál Mac Gearailt

Ceannphort Mainistr Fhearmuighe

Cath. 1

17.10.1920

 

Do goineadh marbthach i bPriosún Corcaighe

Pádraig Ó Mongáin

Óglach

Lios Mór

CO. D

Cath. 3

25.9.1922

 

Briogáid 3 Tiobraid Árann

Do básuigheadh i mBearraic Mhileata Chorcaighe

Seán Ó Hailín

 

Tiobraid Árainn

CO. A

Cath. 4

28.2.1921

 

Briogáid Lár Luimnighe

Pádraig Ó Cathasaigh

Óglach

Cathair Eilligh

CO. C

Cath. 5

4.5.1921

 

Right panel

Go ndéine Dia grásta dá n-anam amen ag comrádh aithe in arm na poblachta a thóg an leacht so do bhuanu cuimhne na laoch 1947

Translation: “May God have mercy on their souls. Amen. It was their comrades in the army of the Republic, who erected this monument in 1947 in memory of the heroes”

Séamus Ó Murchadha ARHA [Séamus Murphy ARHA]

 

Sources

P. Coffey, 'The College and the Gaol', Cork University Record (Summer 1946), 17-18

Margaret Lantry, 'Mass grave a compelling element of UCC’s remarkable architectural heritage', "War of Independence: the darkest days": supplement to the Irish Examiner (26/3/2021), 5

Peter Murray (ed.), Séamus Murphy 1907-1975 Sculptor (Kinsale: Produced for the Crawford Gallery of Art by Gandon Editions, 2007), number 213 (p19, p160 (photo), p182 (photo), p183).

Gerry White, 'Tragedy of UCC patriot graves', The Holly Bough (Christmas 2020), 48-9

© University College Cork 2021

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