Irish Volunteer Brothers, James & Charles Murray

by Frank Whearity
(Skerries Historical Society Meeting – November 2014)

Skerries Historical Society’s monthly presentation saw society stalwart, Frank Whearity in the hot seat with ‘Irish Volunteer brothers, James & Charles Murray, Skerries: part 1, genealogy, boy-scouts & volunteer reorganisation 1917-1919’ one rain-swept evening in November. As The Bus Bar began to fill up, people with technical know-how gathered around the projector with looks of concern on their faces. The gods did not smile, the projector refused to project and Frank was faced with giving a presentation full of photographs without any means of showing them.

Being the trooper that he is, Frank rose to the occasion and by the end of the evening we had learned a good deal about the Murray brothers background. There was some resonance with items topical in the news today as we heard how the Sinn Fein courts were set up in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising with the Skerries Parish court meeting monthly in the library with one of the Murray brothers, Charles, acting as court clerk.

Frank impressed upon his audience that these courts meant serious business with their decrees backed up by force of arms.

On a lighter note, Frank found a reference in James Murray’s papers to Mick Lynch of the Dublin Brigade who set up the Fingal Brigade in 1918. He used to walk an hour from his home to the Fingal council meetings, always secretly followed by two men. It took him nearly two years to discover that these two men were no threat to him but, in fact, his bodyguard!

Frank will be back in March of next year to finish the story of the Murray brothers and we must hope that all the technical gremlins have been put to flight by then and he will be able to give his presentation in full colour, or at least sepia!

Report by Oona Roycroft

Page updated – 02 / 03 / 2015