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Sunday, November 19, 2017

1917 Sinn Fein Convention - Delegates United on Independence


"Those who looked for a lot of verbal fireworks" at the recent Sinn Fein convention in Dublin "must have been disappointed," according to a Boston Globe story by James T. Sullivan on November 18, 1917.

"Moderation prevailed, but the delegates insisted on letting the world know they were firm upon the platform of independence," wrote the Globe.

Eamon deValera was elected President of Sinn Fein, and gave the principle address:

"We are asserting to the world that Ireland is a Nation, and Ireland has never yet agreed to become a subject Nation or part of the British Empire.  The people of Ireland were kept from expressing that view simply by the naked sword of England, but England pretended that it was not by the sword, but by the goodwill of the people of Ireland that she was there, which was false.  Ireland’s aim was freedom.

“Those men (who fought for Ireland) felt they were morally justified in doing that.  They said what the people of Ireland aimed at was freedom, and that they represented the solid sensible opinion of Irishmen, and they said if they were to win that freedom the first step in the battle would be to get the Irish people themselves determined to win it; and they said that, even thought the first battle in that political fight might be a military defeat, it would lead to final success.”

Sinn Fein's plan, wrote the Globe, "is to place candidates in opposition wherever there is a contest, particularly in the County Councils, and in this way, if they win such places, it will later on give Sinn Fein control of the government boards.  And contests will be made for Parliament and whatever other offices become vacant."



Sunday, November 12, 2017

James Michael Curley Died on November 12, 1958



James Michael Curley, the larger-than-life political figure who dominated Boston and Massachusetts politics for half a century, died on November 12, 1958, fifty-nine years ago today.  

Over 100,000 people passed by his coffin at the Hall of Flags in the Massachusetts State House, according to a story in The Boston Globe

“The rich and the humble, Democrats and Republicans, bared the depth of their tribune in whispered prayers and unrestrained tears,” wrote the Globe.

Then a final process drove Curley's body through the streets of Boston and then to Holy Cross Cathedral in the South End, where his son, Reverend Francis S. Curley, S.J., celebrated mass along with Richard Cardinal Cushing of South Boston.  

Curley is buried the Old Calvary Cemetery in Boston

Born on November 20, 1874 on Northampton Street in Roxbury, Curley's political career was unparalleled.  Curley served four four-year terms as mayor of Boston, in 1914, 1922, 1930 and 1946.  He was Governor of Massachusetts from 1935-37, and also served as  US Congressman from 1911-14.

Ray Flynn, former mayor of Boston and US Ambassador to the Vatican, praised Curley for "helping the poor and needy of Boston."

Mayor Marty Walsh now uses the original desk of Mayor Curley in his office on the 5th floor of Boston City Hall.  "It's about history," Walsh told the Globe.

Find out more about Boston's Irish history at IrishHeritageTrail.com.