Among the more notable but little known parishioners of Mount Carmel was Brigadier General Thomas William Sweeny (1820-1872), a veteran of the U.S. Army who fought in the Mexican War (where he lost an arm in battle) and the U.S. Civil War. Born in County Cork, Ireland, he was also deeply involved......

in the "Fenian" movement for Irish independence, and was involved in a failed attempt to invade Canada with an army of Irish and Irish-Americans. In his later years he resided at 126 Franklin Street (approximately at 8th Street and 27th Avenue) where he died on April 10, 1892, very close to the eventual site of St Margaret Mary chapel. His funeral Mass was conducted at Mount Carmel a few days later, and he was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. His daughter-in-law continued living in the parish until her death in the 1960s. SMM's longtime sacristan, Ben Pietrobono, made sure a bust of the general was placed on his grave in more recent years.

General Sweeny appears to be our only parishioner who has had a song about him written and recorded by the noted Irish folk-singing group, the Wolfe-Tones. The link, if you'd like to hear it is: