Despite the opening intertitle which refers to activities on the streets of Cork, much of the footage here was filmed in London. The film documents the final journey of Terence Mac Swiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, who died on hunger strike in Brixton Prison on October 25th, 1920. MacSwiney’s death was marked by three funeral processions – in London (seen here); in Dublin (where an empty coffin was carried through the streets of Dublin – not seen here) and in Cork where he was finally laid to rest.
Opening sequence shows coffin carried by MacSwiney’s brother and others and being blessed by Archbishop Mannix of Melbourne before being placed in horse drawn hearse. Hearse travels through streets of London. Thousands line the streets. Members of the constabulary hold back throngs outside St George’s Cathedral, Southwark where thousands come to pay their respects. Scenes as members of the clergy arrive at Brixton prison.
There are some scenes of the funeral procession through the streets of Cork.
Terence James MacSwiney was an Irish playwright, author and politician. He was elected as Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork during the Irish War of Independence in 1920. He was arrested by the British on charges of sedition and imprisoned in Brixton Prison in England. His death there in October 1920 after 74 days on hunger strike brought him and the Irish struggle to international attention.