Civil War let­ters do­nated to mu­seum

The Argus - - NEWS -

A col­lec­tion of let­ters writ­ten by Civil War par­tic­i­pant Tom Lennon ahead of his ex­e­cu­tion in 1923 will go on dis­play at the County Mu­seum, Dun­dalk in early Fe­bru­ary. The cor­re­spon­dence, which was do­nated to the mu­seum by Lennon’s fam­ily, in­cludes the fi­nal emo­tion-filled let­ter he wrote to his mother ahead of his ex­e­cu­tion. Lennon was one of a num­ber of men who was killed by fir­ing squad by Free State Forces at the Army Bar­racks in Dun­dalk in 1923, fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of a gun in a car in which he was trav­el­ling.

County Mu­seum Dun­dalk cu­ra­tor, Brian Walsh ex­plained: ‘ These let­ters high­light the af­ter­math of the Easter Ris­ing, re­mind­ing us not only of the im­pact of the War of In­de­pen­dence, but of the Civil War that fol­lowed.

‘ That is why these let­ters are so im­por­tant - they take us back to the ac­tual ex­e­cu­tion of par­tic­i­pants. Any­one who reads these let­ters can feel the emo­tional strain that these peo­ple were un­der, and we can only imag­ine the hurt Tom’s mother felt when read­ing these words.’’

Do­nat­ing the let­ters to the Mu­seum, Lennon’s niece, Mau­reen Lennon-Smyth said: ‘We wanted as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to see these let­ters, to see the story of how peo­ple gave their lives and the pain that our fam­ily and oth­ers en­dured as a re­sult’.

Mr Walsh said that it was a truly hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence to re­ceive such a col­lec­tion.

Mau­reen Lennon Smyth, along with Anne Kir­wan and John Smyth make a pre­sen­ta­tion of let­ters writ­ten by ex­e­cuted Civil War par­tic­i­pant, Tom Lennon to Brian Walsh and Anita McEneaney in the County Mu­seum.

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