Summer 2016 - PRINT


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Adding to the centenary of the 1916 Rising this year also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fenian invasion of Canada. The Fenian Brotherhood were the American counterpart to the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Some of these Fenians were in exile after a failed rebellion in Ireland in 1848. By the end of the American Civil War plans had been put in motion to liberate Canada from British rule. Dr. David Doolin brings our readers the story of these Fenians in 1866.

Remarkably there are still several Circles of the Fenian Brotherhood. Made up of Irish Americans, these modern day Fenians spend their time researching and co-ordinating living history commemorative events. These living historians such as James M. Madden have methodically researched down to the button, what the Fenians of 1866, dressed like and were equipped with. Although 150 years ago the Fenians were ordered to wear civilian attire so as not to raise suspicion, they did have a green uniform. And believe it or not some buttons and rifles were stamped with the letters IRA (Irish Republican Army).

For our eyewitness section we took to the seas and interviewed Naval veterans Bill Mynes and Pat O’Mahoney. They give their firsthand account of a fire on LÉ Cliona; Dr. James O’Neill examines the Battle of the Blackwater Fort; we visit Mountjoy Gaol Museum in Dublin and King John’s Castle in Limerick; Jim Madden looks at the uniforms of the Fenian Brotherhood; and Pat Dargan traces his grandfather’s time with the 1st Garrison Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers in Italy.




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