[Fr.] Michael OFlanagan
1876-1942; Republican priest, b. Co. Roscommon, small-farmers, mother
fluent in Irish; ed. Maynooth, ord. 1900; curacy in Co. Sligo; worked
for Gaelic League; .... disputed Congested Board right to turf for own
tenants only and organised local gathering; gave oration at lying-in-state
of ODonovan Rossa; managed Count Plunketts successful Roscommon
by-election; vice-chairman Sinn Féin; said prayers at first Dáil,
and silenced by Bishop; IAOS; vice-pres. Gaelic League [var. Sinn Féin];
close associate of de Valera; opposed de Valera over Oath of Allegiance
in the First Dail; made independent attempt to negotiate with British
during Anglo-Irish war by means of a telegram to Lloyd George calling
fro cessation of violence on both sides; many tours in support of Sinn
Féin, US and Australia, but did not join Fianna Fáil; scientific
projects, dedicated local historian; interested in national diet and oaten
bread; edited fifty two vols. of John ODonovan Arch. Survey (1924-32).
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Denis Carroll, The Have Fooled You Again: Michael O'Flanagan (1876-1942) - Priest, Republican, Social Critic ( Blackrock: Columba Press 1993), 271pp.; see also Carroll, Unusual Suspects: Twelve Radical Clergymen (Blackrock: Columba Press 1998), 291pp.
Note: Carroll also writes on liberation theology and has produced a life of Thomas Russell.
J. J. Lee, Ireland 1912-1985,
Politics and Society (Cambridge UP 1989): Michael OFlanagan,
an erratic Sinn Fein priest did not shirk the implications of self-determination:
England has begun to despair of compelling us to love her by force,
and so we are anxious to start where England left off, and we are going
to compel Antrim and Down to love us by force. (Quoted in D. W.
Miller, Church, State and Nation in Ireland 1918-1921, Pittsburgh
1973; cited in Lee, p.17.)
Luke Gibbons, Transformations in Irish Culture (Field Day/Cork UP 1996), p.98f.: OFlanagan masterminded the first republican election victory after the Easter Rising in N. Roscommon, often mistakenly referred to subsequently as the Sinn Féin by-election, the myth of continuity in the campaign waged by Sinn Féin before and after the Rising being largely the creation of Arthur Griffiths newspaper Nationality, which OFlanagan criticised: Anyone who depends on Nationality for the history of the next few months will know next to nothing of how a new republican rganisation came into existence [&c.].
Brown reviews Denis Carroll, They Have Fooled You Again: Michael OFlanagan 1876-1942 (Dublin: Columba Press 1993); (Irish Liteary Supplement, Fall 1994), quotes: [T]he island of Ireland and the national unit of Ireland simply do not coincide. Further, After three hundred years, England has begun to despair of compelling us to love her by force. Are we so anxious to start where England left off or are we going to compel Antrim and Down to love us by force?; supplied in his writings a basis for a truly republican understanding of workable relationship between church and state.