Former Limerick MP John Finucane Passes Away Limerick, Saturday 29th March 1902 – Limerick and the Nationalist cause mourn the loss of John Finucane, former Member of Parliament for East Limerick. Finucane was a prominent figure in the fight for Irish rights and the Home Rule cause, playing a crucial role during its darkest hours. Before his political career, he joined the Limerick and Clare Farmers’ Club, which would evolve into the Land League.
As a young college graduate, he enthusiastically advocated for the “Three F’s”: fair rent, fixity of tenure, and free sale, gaining a reputation for passionate wholeheartedness. Finucane made a name for himself in 1882 when he and his friends captured the Limerick Board of Guardians, a stronghold of the ascendency class at the time. Finucane defeated the late Lord Emly for the chairmanship, stunning both supporters and opponents with his victory.
In 1887, Finucane experienced the other side of the Irish struggle, as he was put on trial in connection with the Quilty land-grabbing case. Sentenced to one month of imprisonment, he was tried again upon release for an earlier speech, resulting in a six-month sentence. The time spent incarcerated in Tullamore Jail had a severe impact on his health, and he struggled afterwards.
Though not considered an orator, Finucane could deeply stir an audience with his grounded arguments and genuine fervor. Many people during his time praised him for his foresight and ability to understand complex issues, as well as his profound knowledge of human nature. Finucane’s lovable character endeared him to his supporters, who now grieve his passing. Nowadays, Finucane is remembered for his devotion to the cause of Irish nationalism. He remains an inspiration for those fighting for a better future, demonstrating that with determination and passion, ordinary men can make an extraordinary difference.
Northants Evening Telegraph – Saturday 29 March 1902