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The Great Escape, Part 1


“Supported by the Department of Tourism,  Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.”

Author and Historian Eoin Swithin Walsh in the first of two podcasts speaks about the Kilkenny Jail Break in In November 1921

  Part-1---Escape-to-Freedom---The-great-Kilkenny-Jailbreak-Nov-1921.mp3 (size 23.4 MB)

"In the first part of this podcast we examine the buildup to the great Kilkenny jailbreak of 22nd of November 1921. How did 44 political prisoners manage to burrow their way to freedom? The headlines generated by the escape echoed not just in Ireland but around the globe. In modern day parlance; it went viral! Add into the mix the fact that one of the escapees was a Catholic priest (Fr P.H. Delahunty), and two others were technically on death row (Edward Punch and Tim Murphy from Limerick), and you have a near Hollywood film script, whilst also being highly embarrassing for the British Administration! 

 The O/C for the prisoners was Kilkenny man Martin Kealy, while he was ably assisted in the escape plan by Sligo man Tom McCarrick. We are also very fortunate (thanks to Brian Condron) to have an interview with one of escapees, Jimmy Kelly of Offaly, which was recorded before his death in the early 1980s. 

Find out how the plan all came together in this podcast."

Kilkenny Jail 1921                                                                            The Governor Clerk and Warders

1921-Kilkenny-Jail   The-govenor-clerk-and-warders

Rev. P.H. Delahunty, Kilkenny Jailbreaker                   Martin Kealy

Rev.-P.-H.-Delahunty---Kilkennys-Jailbreaking-Priest  Martin-Kealy---OC-Kilkenny-Jail-prisoners-1921