Minister to unveil Terence McSwiney sculpture in family’s homeplace

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EIGHTEEN months later than planned, the long awaited unveiling of the bust of Terence McSwiney in the museum located in his family’s homeplace of Kilmurry is to go ahead this weekend.

he unveiling of the sculpture designed and crafted by John Coll, the sculptor who has carved the likeness of President Michael D. Higgins for Áras an Uachtaráin, was originally scheduled to mark the centenary of Terence McSwiney’s death on hunger strike in Brixton Prison on October 25 1920,

But the COVID pandemic put paid to that plan and to later attempts to have a public event to mark the centenary of the death of a man whose writings and sacrifice became revered around the world.

Now an afternoon of talks culminating with the unveiling by Public Expenditure of Minister Michael McGrath of the bust of the second republican Lord Mayor of Cork – and the first Sinn Féin TD for mid Cork- will take place on Saturday in the Kilmurry Independence Museum.

Entiled ‘The Role of the Arts in Commemoration’, the event will include talks by Aodhán Rilke Floyd, museum curator, and a talk on the sculpting course of action by John Coll. There will also be sean nós songs from Eibhlis Twomey and a poetry reading by John Fitzgerald before the unveiling of the bust at 4.30pm.

Deirdre Bourke of the Kilmurry Historical and Archaeological Association said the museum was delighted to be the home of the ‘beautiful and powerful’ bust of Terence McSwiney.

“His family came from Kilmurry, he set up the volunteers here and we keep very proud of our long association with him.”

The society’s vice chairman, Aidan O’Sullivan, expressed the KHAA’s gratitude to The O’Flynn Group for its generosity in sponsoring the sculpture. “It is a fitting memorial to Terence MacSwineymarkingthe centenary of his death on hunger strike.”

The event gets underway at 2pm on Saturday at the Kilmurry Independence Museum.

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