Saturday, December 17, 2011

ALH 60th Article Christmas Special:...And the men of '16 returned from Frongoch by Ronan Killeen

This shall be a short general article for Christmas. Frongoch will be put into more detail in the new year. On the Friday 23 December 1916. The men who were interned for the activism in the Easter Rising were released. 146 of these men were from the districts of Athenry and Oranmore. The majority of men looked sickly (I would like to point out food in Frongoch was not always the best at one point a doctor was appointed to look at one type of meat which was not fit for the men to eat at all, Sean Mahony talks about this in his book Frongoch Internment Camp: Birth of Revoultion).
  One account of the treatment is given in the Irish Independent 26 December 1916 'We had four months of porridge for breakfast and dinner, and if it wasn't for the parcels that came some would have died of hunger'.

The men of Frogoch were greeted cheerfully by their family and friends as they arrived home. An Irish Independent representative travelled with the released men on their homeward journey getting intersing interviews. The men of Frongoch got on remarkeably well with the Prison Adjudant who told the men of their release. Men were delighted to hear the news and marched to the nearest railway station singing Irish songs and the the Welsh town of Bala gave the Irish men a good-natured send off.

I will put Frongoch Interment Camp into better detail in the new year. For thos of you who are interested in the Bureu of Military History. There is an article on p26-29 of this bi-monthly edition of History Ireland which can be bought in Burke's newsagents.

Merry Christmas  and a happy new year to all readers of Athenry Local History,
Local Historian,
                         Ronan Killeen

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