I made two mistakes last week. I got my months mixed up. Instead of a period of less than two years from the battle at his home Muintir Eoin in the Maam Valley to when he was appointed Leas Ceann Comhairle (deputy speaker ) of the new Irish Dáil, I said it was less than ‘eight months’. Secondly the photograph. An utter mystery! It just appeared from cyber space by magic. No idea where it came from.
Nevertheless, despite these things, there has been a steady flow of e-mails and texts during the past few weeks. Maybe it is the approach of 2016 that has prompted people to take a greater interest in our history, I do not know. But there is a very considerable appetite for events that led up to the birth of our nation.
I mentioned last week that when Ireland was at last given the opportunity to go for independence, by Act of British Parliament on December 6 1922, there was no celebration despite this tremendous achievement. Instead the country was locked in a bitter Civil War over the terms of the Treaty.
Our grandparents were so incandescent with rage over the whole tragic fallout among former comrades, that they were too angry to speak about it, or at least to speak with any kind of objectivity.
Our parents inherited that anger but were a little more coherent.
Perhaps this generation and the next will view the developments in a cooler manner. I always thought that December 6 should be a national holiday to celebrate our independence. Maybe in the future.
Thank you to everyone who wrote in. Patrick McGinley tells me that Pádraic Ó Máille’s daughter, retired teacher Maeve O’Malley, is enjoying her retirement in Holywell, North Wales.