Letters to the Editor

This letter, written by the late Paddy Casey,  the then undertaker  in  Inchigeela, Co Cork , in which he corrects some statements made by Pádraig Ó Maidín, was printed in the Cork Examiner a number of years ago.

Battle of Keimaneigh

Sir - I regard the writings of Mr. Padraig Ó Maidín each day in the "Cork Examiner" as being most interesting and informative.  In the majority of cases an item of Irish history is related which took place on that date many years ago.  It is of course taken for granted that all such incidents related are true facts, but needless to say there is no such guarantee.

In the "Cork Examiner" of February 23rd last, the aftermath of the Battle of Keimaneigh was mentioned some of which was taken from a book written by Fr. O'Donoghue in 1931 about Máire Bhuidhe Ní Laoghaire, the author of "Cath Chéim an Fhia".  In the book it was stated that the man who killed Lieutenant Smith (the English Officer) was a brother of Máire Bhuidhe, which was not so, as the man who killed Smith was Seamus Walsh who lived in a farm at Carrigbawn. 

For many years the story was told of how Seamus Walsh came down the hill at the western end of the Pass of Keimaneigh as he knew the soldiers were after passing eastward at the time.  Smith, who was walking at the rear of the soldiers, noticed him from a distance and returned westward to meet him.  Instead of running away, as perhaps Smith expected to happen, Seamus Walsh confronted him and a hand to hand fight ensued which culminated in the death of Smith and Seamus escaped unhurt, but had to go on the run for some time.

He was married then for a considerable time and later a daughter of his married Patrick Lucey, a farmer at Coolagreenane near Inchigeela.  Mrs Patrick Lucey died at the age of 101 years and during her lifetime took pride in relating the part played by her father at the Battle of Keimaneigh.  She had four sons, one of whom was John O'Lucey of the firm of Lucey and  O'Connell of Mulgrave Road, Cork, whose son, Christopher Lucey, gave his life for Irish freedom in 1920 when he was shot by the Tans.

P. J. Casey

Co. Cork.