AHEAD of the centenary of Terence MacSwiney's death on hunger strike Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has said his legacy is still relevant in modern society.
"MacSwiney was very clear. He said: ‘The republican message is about equality. The republican message is about freedom for people. The republican message is about tolerance.’
That is still a good message for Ireland of today,” Deputy McDonald said.
She also welcomed the decision by Cork City Council to posthumously award to freedom of the city to the city’s two martyred Lord Mayors Terence MacSwiney and Tomás MacCurtain.
"We can look to MacSwiney's example of resilience and endurance for inspiration as we continue to endure the hardships of the pandemic,” Ms McDonald said.
She added that the mark he left on Ireland is “indelible”.
“His contribution to the struggle for independence cannot be measured with words. It is best seen in the reverence and respect in which his memory is held here in Ireland, throughout the world but especially in his beloved Cork.”
Ms McDonald described MacSwiney as a leader who led the revolution by example with courage and determination, adding that his death was both a tragedy and a triumph:
“A tragedy in that Ireland lost one of its greatest sons all too early. A triumph in that he succeeded in motivating and inspiring Irishmen and women of his generation to confront injustices.”
Ms McDonald added: "The very best way to honour Terence MacSwiney's sacrifice in 1920 is to continue to work to achieve the ideals for which he gave his life."