An exhibition showcasing two collections, held in UCD Archives, honouring one of Irish history's young heroes. Kevin Barry, a medical student at University College Dublin, was executed for his part in an ambush which resulted in the deaths of three British Army officers in 1920. He was hanged on the 1st of November 1920, despite numerous appeals for his life to be spared. He was 18 years old.
The third raid he was involved in occurred on 20 September 1920; it was an attack on British troops at Church Street in Dublin city, aimed at seizing arms. During this unsuccessful raid, firing broke out and three British soldiers of roughly the same age as Barry were killed or fatally wounded and Barry became the first Volunteer to be captured in an armed attack since 1916. Interrogated and mistreated while in custody, he subsequently refused to recognise the court martial that tried him.
A typescript copy of a letter from Barry sent to ‘A---’, a fellow student at UCD, from Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, commenting on the progress of his friends in their studies and sending his regards “Sorry to learn you stuck your exam but cheer up. You are young yet. That’s the philosophical view I take of my case anyhow…”
The best known version of the ballad "Kevin Barry", recorded by Paul Robeson.
The design by Richard King,principal designer of the Harry Clarke Studios, features eight scenes from Irish history and the struggle for independence. The window was unveiled in Earlsfort Terrace on 1/11/34, the 14th anniversity of Barry’s death. It became one of Earlsfort Terrace’s best loved features.
The window was re-located to UCD Belfield in 2011 after restoration.
Collection held by University College Dublin, UCD Archives. Images ©University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Dublin.
Published by UCD Digital Library.
© All rights reserved. Material published here may not be reproduced in whole or in part for any purpose without the advance written permission of UCD.
Professor Diarmaid Ferriter
UCD Student Centre
Professor Eunan O'Halpin
UCD Archives: Seamus Helferty, Orna Somerville, Kate Manning, Sarah Poutch
UCD Digital Library: Dr John B. Howard, Julia Barrett, Audrey Drohan, Órna Roche, Dani Montes,
UCD Library Outreach: Josh Clark, Ros Pan