Tadhg McCarthaigh's GAA Club was founded in 1954
They are based in Caheragh, County Cork.
Their colours are yellow and red.
Tadhg McCarthaigh's are a Gaelic Football Club.
Pairc Tadgh na Samhna is the name of 'The Scorchers' Football ground. It is named
after Tadgh na Samhna, a name that is renowned throughout the parish but sadly, his
history is largely unknown.
Tadgh was born in Deelish. His father and grandfather were both Lissane men. He was
unmarried at the time of his death and lived with his mother. He lost his father early
in life and like most of the families at the time prosperity was not the order of the
day in their household. As he grew older he was willing to play his part in the struggle
against the English. It is probable that he joined the "United Irishmen" who were the
largest force in Ireland at that time, although there are no recordings of Tadgh actually
being sworn in. Sporadic attacks were made by united Irishmen all over Ireland in an
attempt to gain arms for an expected rebellion and it was during one such attack in Millane
that Tadgh was shot, captured and hanged.
In 1796 the English were expecting a French fleet to land in Bantry Bay with arms to aid
the Irish. A previous attempt in early December had failed so the English sensed that the
French would attempt another insurrection in the near future. They built seven watchtowers
around the coast of West Cork and posted extra troops to every town in and around the Bantry
area. The English proposed making their first line of defence at Drimoleague.
The Irish rebels also wished to be prepared for the next attempt by the French and soon after
their first failure in December, bands of young men started raiding the Protestant houses for
arms. Catholics under the pain of death were forbidden under Penal law to possess or carry arms.
John Gilman, a protestant, resided at Millane, about two miles west of Dunmanway. A group of
'Drom-dha-liag' boys proposed raiding Gilman's house for arms. It is arguable that they were
United Irishmen. However, by some means, Gilman was informed of the plans for the intended raid.
It was never discovered who betrayed their secrets but as the exact night and hour was known to
Gilman it seems likely that it was someone in close contact with the Drimoleague boys and who was
also trusted by them. As poverty was widespread at the time it is possible that money was paid to
the informer by Gilman.
Gilman's house was surrounded by a high ditch which was topped with a strong thick hedge of white
and black thorn bushes. At either side of the fence were two iron gates eight feet high. These were
locked each night to keep out possible intruders. Some days before the expected raid he got his
workman to cut two large 'sceach' bushes, ostensibly for harrowing his wheat and oats, in reality
for purposes of defence. The sceach were drawn in and placed near the northern gate. The night before
the raid Gilman travelled to Dunmanway town and procured six soldiers. These he conveyed secretly to
his home that night. On the night of the raid he locked the southern gate but allowed the northern
gate to remain open. He barricaded all the windows and doors and dispatched two soldiers from the
house to conceal themselves with muskets in the shrubbery inside the northern gate. The plan was that
when the raiders would enter, the two soldiers would steal out, lock the gate and put the 'sceachs' up
against the gate, ensuring that the raiders would be unable to climb the gate on their retreat.
The boys came to the house at the dead of night. They found the northern gate open and walked silently
up the yard until they came to the front of the house. Once there they shouted for Gilman to surrender
what arms he had in the house. Gilman did not respond until the two soldiers had shut the northern gate
and placed the sceach on it. There they lay,waiting for the raiders to return. Subsequently the four
soldiers in the house opened fire on the Drimoleague men. Completely taken by surprise and stricken with
panic the raiders ran back towards the gate through which they had entered. The boys finding the gate
shut and blocked tried to drag the sceachs from the foot of the gate. Then suddenly the two soldiers
opened fire from either side of them killing one of raiders. Totally confused, the boys ran for the
other entrance on the southern side. They dashed past the front of the house, where again gunshots
were fired at them by Gilman and the four soldiers. Tadgh was hit with a bullet to the thigh. He dragged
his body towards the gate and started to climb. His companions had already escaped. Tadgh climbed the
gate quickly despite the bleeding wound in his thigh. Just as he was on top of the gate and ready to
jump clear his 'bainin' got caught on one of the spikes. There he hung suspended until the English
soldiers dragged him down. Undoubtedly even if Tadgh had cleared the gate, the soldiers would have
captured him as his wounded leg would have deprived him of the strength to out run the soldiers.
Tadgh was taken to the prison in Cork and when his wound had someway healed, he was tried before a
Mr. Justice Stanley and sentenced to be hanged at the place of the crime. Tadgh was taken back down to
Dunmanway under heavy escort. His mother walked by his side for all of the journey. A Friar from Cork
also accompanied Tadgh for a few miles from the city.
Appended is a letter written by Rickard Deasy Senior to his son Rickard Junior. In the letter he
describes the trial of Tadgh to his son and by doing so gives us an insight into the story that we
would otherwise not have.
"A young simple boy aged about sixteen or eighteen was brought in from Dunmanway. He was taken amongst
a party of peasantry that went to take arms at the house of Mr. Gilman of Millane who had received
private information of the intended visit. Having procured a guard of Soldiers for his defence he
secretly conveyed them to his house. The country people were received with a discharge of musketry,
at which they fled, without any being killed or it believe wounded.
The above boy mentioned was only taken. He was brought into Cork and tried before Stanley. He was
arraigned, found guilty and sentenced to be taken out to Millane and there hanged. An orange was in
the Judge's hand which he was most good humouredly applying to his mouth, after every sentence he
pronounced and he discoursed occasionally in the most pleasant tone to a gentleman who sat beside him.
They both seemed much amused by the scene, which the poor boy in the dock understood little or nothing,
not knowing a word of English.
His unfortunate mother walked all the way along-side him to the place of execution urging him by her
prayers not to tell or describe any of those who were there that night, which he showed no disposition to do."
The Cork Hibernian Chronicle April 12th 1798
'A party of plunders have been repulsed near Dunmanway at the house of a gentlemen who fortunately had
notice of their visit and strengthened himself with six soldiers, who gave them such a warm reception that
one was left dead and another so severely wounded, that he was taken prisoner, and many others supposed to
have been seriously wounded.'
The Cork Hibernian, April 19th 1798
'Timothy McCarthy otherwise Sowney, was sent off under an escort of the Royal Cork Volunteers, to be
executed this day at Dunmanway, for attacking the house of John Gillan Esq., near that town. Any person now
detected breaking into a house can expect no mercy from this example.'
The Cork Hibernian Chronicle, April 23rd 1798
'Timothy McCarthy alias Sowney, for firing into the house of Mr. John Gilman at Meelane was executed on
the 19th of April at Meelane'
The above Article is an excerpt from 'Clann na nGael GAA History 1888-1988'
Oh wow! That's amazing!
We'd love it if you added Tadhg to the Ancestor Chronicles. This video will talk you through how https://irelandxo.com/ireland-xo/news/chronicles-workshop-playback-addin...