Béal Beo

Recordings from the National Folklore Collection

Parnellite Delegation to USA

Captain Henry Harrison (1867-1954)
5:35" on cylinder.
Ediphone_119, and from 0:01" to 0:19" on cylinder Ediphone_123

Interview with a leading Fenian, Captain Henry Harrison, who was part of a delegation to the USA following the split in the Irish Party.


I knew a lot of the Fenians and I always had a fellow feeling for the fighting men. But, perhaps I might mention here that I went to America as one of a delegation after the split? The delegation was headed by James O'Kelly, Long John O'Connor, Willie Redmond and myself. We anticipated possibly more support than we got. The absence of support was due not so much to some of the orthodox respectables in New York as to the feud which then divided the Clann na Gael. There was a feud between a minority section of Clann na Gael under Devoy and the majority under Alexander Sullivan of Chicago.

I got cut off from the rest of the delegation by having to go to hospital with pneumonia and when I was convalescing I was alone in New York. But I knew enough to know that where my comrades had been round forming committees to work out the organisation in different cities and towns they got a court of welcome, they formed a committee, and then the whole thing went to sleep. And they were rather discouraged by this. I was then approached by a man called, he was a builder and contractor, William J. Lynam, Lyman L-Y-M-A-N. And he took me out two or three times to drive on one of the big avenues out there along the river, Seccy (?) I think it was called, with a fast trotting horse. And he, by degrees he opened up to me...what was it...? The obstacles which my colleagues and myself were meeting were due to Mr. Alexander Sullivan and his section of the Clan na Gael; that they thoroughly sympathised with us in our stand against English influence in Irish politics. But that unless Mr. Sullivan was satisfied, the detachment of the Irish population of America from Parnell would continue.

Funeral procession of Charles Stewart Parnell, 1891.

Funeral procession of Charles Stewart Parnell, 1891.