.........in August, 1913, there was a public meeting held after 11 o'clock Mass outside Kilmeena Church. As far as I can remember, it was the late J.D. Bartley, Clifden, Co. Galway, who addressed the meeting and it was after this meeting that I enrolled in the Irish Volunteers. Shortly afterwards, the late Tom Tarmey, an ex-sergeant of the English Army, was appointed our instructor in drill and boxing at classes held every Wednesday night. Mr Tarmey continued his instructions up to late 1915. By that time we were fit to carry out the instructions ourselves. In about September, 1915, I was appointed 1st Lieutenant. and we then took part in the cattle driving as there were large farms in the parish which were badly needed by the small farmers who had only 3 or 4 acres of land each. We had a very good football team in Kilmeena at that time, composed completely of Volunteers, and after one of the cattle drives the whole football team were arrested, including myself, in December 1915, and lodged in prison in the Old Workhouse in Westport under a strong guard of armed police. When we were being taken from the Workhouse to the Courthouse in Westport, we were escorted by four bands who paraded the town to support us. When we arrived at the Courthouse, they had no evidence against us and the whole team were released.
Note: John (also known as “Jack”, often referred to as “Barry”) Feehan was born in Rossow, brother to Pat Feehan, Hugh Feehan’s father. John was father to Maureen Feehan (married to Jim Gibbons RIP), and grandfather to Una (Geraghty), Sean and Des Gibbons Cushalogart.
John Feehan resided in Leeane.
Many thanks to Sean Gibbons for this extract and (Photo) from the archives of the: History of the Irish Volunteer & IRA of West Connemara.
Statement of John Feehan,
Leenane. Co. Galway