My heritage is exactly half Polish and half Irish. Obviously, with the name “Vinoski,” my father is of 100% Polish descent — his grandparents were from Poland.
Below is a tribute to my mother’s grandfather and my great-grandfather, Denis Daniel Guiney, published years ago. At a family reunion sometime in the mid-1990s, my uncle handed me a photocopy of a newspaper clipping containing this text. The clipping contains no indication of the original source of this text nor its date of publication.
Veteran Nationalist Passes
If you take the road out of Kiskeam that swings rather sharply to the right before you cross the bridge over the Araglen you will come by way of the rising highway to Knocknenaugh. Up there, looking south west towards the Kerry border, a great Irishman has breathed his last. Mr. Denis Daniel Guiney was ninety when he died recently full of years and honours and great with work for the land of Ireland and its people.
Away back, before the turn of the century, when Parnell was the acknowledged leader of the race, Mr. Guiney was one of those who held with the pale bearded man from Avondale in Wicklow. Before that he was with the men of the Land League and he was with them to the end. With the coming of the Gaelic League as the nursery of national thought and the training school of the militant intellectuals, Denis Daniel Guiney was one of its most staunch supporters. When Sinn Féin arose he was of it and he was a Justice of its courts. It was in that role that Seán Keating painted him and, surely, the gifted Limerick-man could scarcely have found another model that better personified and symbolised the national tradition. Strong faced, noble of head and white-bearded of jaw, he was a combination of patriarch and soldier, for there was in him a large measure of wisdom and courage.
When he died at his daughter’s residence at Knocknenaugh, lately, a link with the past was severed, but the things for which he strove throughout his long life will endure and when art students of another day, in some lofty marble hall, view Sean Keating’s picture “The Sinn Féin Court” they must gaze long and searchingly at the bearded Judge of the people’s tribunal and, perhaps, some guiding voice will tell them that there is the picture of a man who not only saw history in the making, but left his stamp on the finished product.
The only identifying information the clipping contains is the column’s title, “A North Cork Causerie,” which presumably pertains to the first part of the column, not the text quoted above. There are four parts to the column in all, with the text above being the second part. The fourth part of the column is written in Gaelic. For the column’s author, all it says is “By OBSERVER.”
According to my present-day Irish relatives who live in Cork and the surrounding area, the Sean Keating painting referenced in this tribute is on display at the Crawford Gallery in Cork, but I’ve not (yet) seen it myself, nor can I find any online references to it.
If you have any ideas of how I might track down the original source of this text, please email me.