We could all do with a little romance this week.
And once again, Cork’s street art community have delivered some magic to enjoy on your next solo stroll, with a brand new large-scale mural celebrating one of the city’s most famous couples.
The piece, created by local artist Peter Martin on Grattan Street, commemorates the wedding of Lord Mayor of Cork Terence MacSwiney and his wife Muriel on June 9th, 1917.
It’s a fitting spot too; the mural will now provide a beautiful backdrop for some outdoor photos for anyone tying the knot in the Cork Registry Office.
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The couple originally met at Christmas, 1915 but they were wed two years later while Terence was under house arrest in England.
According to the Kilmurray Museum, home to a silver dish ring made by the famous Cork silversmith firm Egans in 1916 and gifted to the couple on their wedding day, while Terence’s sisters Mary and Annie were present at the wedding, the bride’s family was not represented.
“She was a member of a prominent Cork distillery family, and her mother was disapproving of the match, despite Terence’s attempts to secure her approval through the emissary work of Cork’s Catholic bishop Daniel Cohalan. The wedding, which they had hoped to have within a few weeks of getting engaged, was instead put off until the day after Muriel’s 25th birthday when she would become financially independent.”
The Capuchin friar Fr Augustine Hayden travelled to the UK to conduct the ceremony in Irish and the groom wore the uniform of the Irish Volunteers, which was smuggled to England for the occasion.
A figure of strength
“Muriel was a massive figure of strength throughout Terence’s struggle for Irish freedom and his eventual hunger strike,” said Peter.
“She was an active member of Cumann na mBan and was also the first woman to be given the Freedom of New York City.”
The background is based on the mosaic floor of the Honan Chapel, a masterpiece of the Celtic Revival movement, which played a key role in Revolution in Ireland.
The project was commissioned by the Middle Parish Community Centre and funded through the Commemorations fund of Cork City Council.