Oration marking the centenary of the death of Cathal Brugha

Created: July 7, 2023

Cathal Brugha in a Volunteer’s uniform, prior to 1916

7th July today marks the 101st anniversary of the death of Cathal Brugha, one of the most important and celebrated republican figures of the early 20th century Irish revolutionary period. Brugha has been the subject of two engrossing and enlightening biographies the last few years, Cathal Brugha (Life and Times Series) by Fergus O’Farrell (UCD Press, 2017) and Cathal Brugha: ‘An Indomitable Spirit’ by Daithí Ó’Corráin and Gerard Hanley (Four Courts Press, 2022). Last year, ahead of the centenary of his death, I was greatly honoured to be asked by the National Graves Association to be the main speaker at a ceremony to take place on 9th July, 2022 by Brugha’s graveside within the Republican Plot at Glasnevin cemetery. Sadly, I contracted covid-19 several days before and was unable to do it. Appropriately, today I present the text I had written for the oration I would have given on the day of the Cathal Brugha commemoration: