My Cousin Martin was a brave and sad man…beautiful soul.
Ian, did you read the book written by Seamus King featuring Martin A Lorrha Miscellany – a whole chapter devoted to Martin O’Meara VC in fact. I was honoured to be given a copy of the book signed by Seamus King himself in 2012.
To stand in the O’Meara farmyard in Lorrha and realise the sacrifice and poverty suffered by the family (11 children born- 7 survived) sustaining on such a small farm of12 acres was a lesson in humility and admiration for the people of that era in Ireland. It is difficult for our generations to accept the reality of the political and social upheavals that were happening in Ireland (1916) then and the division of the Irish people in towns and villages post the revolution. Martin would have been regarded as a traitor in that small village which may be a small clue to this gentle, brave, and caring mans state of mind when he returned to Lorrha. Post Traumatic Syndrome unrecognized or even considered at that time in returned soldiers from the WW! would also have been a factor. Spoke to a few people when home last in Lorrha and being the secretive people that Irish people are and were more so at that time there would be an inherited sense of shame at the way he was treated. He was not considered a hero in his own village more like a traitor especially following the clumsy and unwise way the British treated the 1916 leaders post the revolution. To this day in Ireland many families remain divided politically on these unresolved issues and unwise handling by the British hierarchy. The 1922 Civil War was a product of this civil confusion. (Aine ni Ealuithe)-Annette Healy-Pickwell.
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