January 16th 2019 marked the 142nd birthday of Michael O’ Hanrahan. Born in Wexford but raised in Carlow, O’ Hanrahan played a highly important role in the 1916 Easter Rising, and was executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol in May 1916. To mark the occasion An Ciorcal Gaeilge watched a special bi-lingual documentary detailing the life of Michael O’ Hanrahan.
Michael attended the local Christian Brothers school, and his father worked as a cork cutter, supplying corks for Corcoran’s Mineral Water factory in Carlow town. O’ Hanrahan had a huge love for the Irish language, and helped establish the first branch of Conradh na Gaeilge in Carlow in 1898, making him an ideal subject for An Ciorcal.
An Ciorcal Gaeilge is an informal Irish language group that meet once a week in the Museum for ‘caint agus caife‘, and to keep the Irish language alive and active in Carlow. The group consists of all levels of Irish ability – from total beginners to the fluent Gaeilgeoirs – so there was something for everyone with the documentary’s mix of Irish and English language.
O’ Hanrahan features throughout Carlow County Museum – his portrait is on display on our first floor gallery, and he is featured in our 1916 Commemorative Stained Glass Window. The museum also houses the O’ Hanrahan Gallery, named in honour of the entire O’ Hanrahan family; his sister Eily was a founding member of Cumann na mBan, and his brother Harry fought alongside Michael at Jacob’s Biscuit Factory in 1916. If you are interested in learning more about Michael O’ Hanrahan and his legacy, please call in and visit Carlow County Museum and visit our ‘Rebellion’ display on the first floor.
An Ciorcal Gaeilge is organised and run by Glór Cheatharlach, and meet every Wednesday at 10.30am in Carlow County Museum. All levels of Irish are welcome.