Offering of Swans

"In January 1923 during the Irish civil war, [the poet Oliver Gogarty], who had played a prominent role in the founding of the

[Irish] Free State, was seized by Republican extremists and imprisoned in a deserted house on the edge of the Liffey with every prospect of death.

"Pleading a natural necessity, he got into the garden, plunged under a shower of revolver bullets and as he swam the ice-cold December stream, promised it, should it land him in safety, two swans. I was present when he fulfilled that vow."

[Gogarty's An Offering of Swans recalls this event.]

[Gogarty was the inspiration for the character of Buck Mulligan in James Joyce's Ulysses]

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