Irish Volunteers

Towards the end of 1913, a branch of the Irish Volunteers was formed in Kilfenora. Though I was a member, I do not remember very clearly any of the facts regarding the establishment of this unit and of the details of its activities. I’m certain, however, that for drill instruction we had the services of two ex Irish Guardsmen, Jim O’Donohue and John O’Connor, and that, at the big review of Irish Volunteers held in the Phoenix Park on Easter Sunday, 1914, a contingent from Kilfenora attended, headed by their brass and reed band. This band included members of the I.R.B. who during their stay in Dublin met other members of the Brotherhood from different parts of the country, and from them learned of the efforts which the Irish Parliamentary Party were making behind the scenes to secure control of the Volunteer movement. My recollection of subsequent happenings is that the Kilfenora unit disintegrated, as such, soon after the Dublin review, and that, on the formation of a company of Irish Volunteers at Cloona following the Redmondite split in the autumn of 1914, a number of the Kilfenora men, including myself, joined the Cloona company.

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