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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Book: Lorrha People in the Great War

Lorrha People in the Great War

Lorrha (my native place) is the Northernmost parish in Tipperary.
To my knowledge, it is the first time a book has been compiled based on the experiences of people from a parish – whether Ireland or England – during the Great War.
It also includes some people who served in the Napoleonic Wars, the War of Independence and the Second World War.
The stories of about 80 people are detailed in the book (400 pages).
The book includes about 450 photographs, some of which date from around 1890.
As there are so many people from Lorrha who were prominent in Australian history, the Australian Ambassador to Ireland agreed to launch the book.

The following are some of the people whose stories are told:

Patrick Sullivan (cover photograph).  Member of Connaught Rangers, captured in the Great German Offensive of March 1918 and died in a Prisoner-of-War Camp five-weeks before the Armistice.

Martin O’Meara VC, served with the Australian Imperial Force and was awarded the Victoria Cross.

The Cronin Family who were prominent in the Republican movement.  Felix Cronin, a great friend of Michael Collins married Michael Collins’ fiancé, Kitty Kiernan.

Molly O’Connell Bianconi, grandniece of Daniel O’Connell and great granddaughter of Charles Bianconi.  Molly’s fiancée Cecil Kenny, was killed in the German Offensive of March 1918.  She was awarded the Military Medal for rescuing of wounded soldiers during the same Offensive.  A native of Boherlahan in Tipperary, the Bianconi family had connections with Waterford and Clonmel. Indeed, the nursing building on the Waterford Institute of Technology Campus is called the Mary (Molly) O’Connell Bianconi Building.

Sir Henry O’Neil de Hane Segrave (Harry Segrave). Broke the world land speed record on three occasions and also broke the world speed boat record.

Cornelius Aloysius Deane.  Father of Australian Governor General, Sir William Deane.  Sir William Deane visited his ancestral home in Lorrha in 1999.  The following year he performed the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics.

James Vernon Willington who was killed in Gallipoli.  His mother, Alice Peel Willington was a relative of British Prime Minister, Robert Peel.

Charles Walsh who saved the colours at the Battle of Albuera (Peninsular War, 1811).

Friedrich Bunselmeyer and Friedrich Rüter – served in the German army.  Their grand-daughter has lived in Lorrha for many years.

Many of those soldiers served with the Leinster Regiment, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Irish Guards, the Connaught Rangers.

Every parish in Ireland was affected by the Great War.
John Condon from Waterford was the youngest soldier killed in the War.
John Cunningham of Thurles was awarded the Victoria Cross.  He was also Killed in Action.

Gerard O’Meara

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