1916 martyr Sean Hurley to be honoured in west Cork
Hurley (29) was a member of a party involved in some of the heaviest fighting of the Rising
Sean Hurley was buried along with 20 other casualties of the Easter Rising in a mass grave in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times
Hurley was a member of a party involved in some of the heaviest fighting of the Rising, spending the week defending Church Street to the rear of the Four Courts from repeated British attacks.
On April 29th shortly before the rebels’ surrender, he received a gunshot wound to the head and arm and was taken to Fr Matthew Hall for medical hall where he was anointed before he died.
On Sunday, over 100 descendants of Sean Hurley will gather with hundreds of locals from Drinagh and beyond to attend a commemorative event in the village to remember his sacrifice.
David Hurley, a grand nephew of Sean Hurley, said the event will be attended by relatives from as far away as the United States who were anxious to honour their ancestor for his part in the 1916 Rising.
“Sean’s eldest brother, William, went to America in the early 1900s and some of his descendants have come over to attend Sunday’s events and will meet cousins they have never met before.
“It’s a big event for the Hurley family and for Drinagh to remember the only Cork volunteer to die in Easter Week in Dublin. As a family we are hugely proud of the sacrifice that Sean made.
“And it’s great for Drinagh that the part played by a local man in the Easter Rising and the events leading to the foundation of the Irish State is now being remembered 100 years on.”
Sean Hurley was a close friend of Michael Collins, having attended primary school in Clonakilty with Collins and another local Irish Volunteer, Con O’Donovan, who also fought in the Four Courts in 1916.
Mr Hurley explained that his granduncle and Collins remained close friends when they were in London and they both returned to Dublin in early 1916 to take part in the planned rebellion.
“Conscription was being introduced and they didn’t want to die fighting for the British in the trenches so they returned to Dublin to take part in the Easter Rising together,” he said.
Sean Hurley was buried along with 20 other casualties of the Easter Rising in a mass grave in Glasnevin Cemetery which forced the Hurleys to abandon plans to have him re-interred in Drinagh.
“It would have involved too much a disturbance but now there’s a headstone with his name over the plot while his name now appears on all the new monuments to those who died in Easter 1916.
“We probably know more about him now than in 1916 with so many records being digitised. He had been forgotten but now he is being remembered again and as a family, we are very proud.”
For further information on the weekend events in Drinagh, please visit www.seanhurley1916.com