The lonely grave of a Fianna scout .
By Jason Walsh-McLean©
It was during the Lockout centenary year of 2013 that I finally got around to reading Pádraig Yeates’ seminal work on the subject Lockout – Dublin 1913. It had been purchased as a birthday present for me some years previously by my Mother.
Being a bit of a “trivia buff” when it comes to these things, I noticed upon completing the book that there was no mention of Patsy O’Connor of Na Fianna Éireann, whose name I had first come across many years previously in The National Graves Association 1985 publication The Last Post were it stated on page 39 “Patsy O’Connor of Na Fianna Éireann, died in 1915 as a result of wounds received during the strike”
I was also intrigued by the fact that his name does not appear on the plaque in the foyer of Liberty Hall which commemorates and names the Lockout Martyrs. – I decided to research this young man and try to find out as much as I could about him.
My first port of call was Pádraig himself, he told me the reason Patsy is not mentioned in the book was because he had simply came across nothing on him during his research on the events of The Lockout which lasted from 26th August 1913 to 18th January 1914. Pádraig encouraged me to research him further.
I decided to try and ascertain his exact date of death and where he was buried. Knowing that The Irish Volunteer weekly newspaper was available online, and that it gave its back page to a regular column entitled “Na Fianna Éireann – National Boy Scouts” which reported on the activities of the Fianna. I began to study each edition from its inception on 7th Feb 1914 up to its last issue on the 22nd April 1916.
I located a full page obituary for Patsy in the edition for June 26th 1915 entitled Lieutenant Patsey O’Connor (Patsy was spelt Patsey throughout the article) which announced his death, though not its date and also stated he came from Harold’s Cross and that he had joined the Fianna in Camden Street “nearly six years ago” and was “then about twelve years of age” and that by the time of his death he was he was the Lieutenant in command of the Fianna Inchicore Sluagh.The unnamed author of the obituary who was in fact Pádraig Ó’Riain, informed the reader that both he and Patsy were involved in the Howth gun-running in July 1914 stating “Right well do I remember his gallant stand last July when we came into conflict with the police and military on the road from Howth. He was by my side when the police swooped down upon our ammunition cart that on that day.”
A photo of the Fianna with that very ammunition cart appeared a month later in the July 24th 1915 edition of The Irish Volunteer.
Dockers Preservation Society Calendar for 2015 being launched Mansion House on Thursday November 20th at 7.30pm. It costs €5 and funds will be used to promote work of the Society. Speakers include Eamon O’Reilly CEO of the Dublin Port Company, Jack O’Connor, General President of SIPTU and Ann Matthews, historian and author of The Irish Citizen Army, just published
The Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly and the 1913-1914 lockout Image Gallery
‘Capital is the child of Labour. Therefore the nipper’s present paroxysm of filial piety in Dublin is not so astonishing.’
Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly, November 1913.
‘Sometimes all we need to brighten our day is to rise a little higher. In wages.’
Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly, January 1914.
The Dublin-based Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly was launched in May 1905 by Thomas Fitzpatrick, one of Ireland’s foremost cartoonists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Eclipsing in its lifespan all previous Irish comic periodicals, the Lepracaun would run for almost a decade. This meant that the publication was in a position to offer a vivid cartoon chronology of the great 1913-14 Dublin strike and lockout, although there would be no contribution from the Lepracaun’s founder and most prolific cartoonist, with the Cork-born Thomas Fitzpatrick having passed away in July 1912 at the age of 52.
The two figures most associated with the lockout, however, did attract Fitzpatrick’s notice in the Lepracaun some years earlier. In December 1908 William Martin Murphy’s career was covered by the Lepracaun in an instalment of its full-page “City Celebrities” series, with the profile marvelling at Murphy’s vast range of business concerns. Fitzpatrick’s accompanying cartoon depicted his fellow Cork-man as a great conjurer plucking newspapers, railways, trams and a hotel out of an ‘inexhaustible’ finance hat. After speculating that there might actually be ‘a few limited companies in Dublin’ of which he was not a director, the satirical profile concluded by voicing a suspicion that Murphy’s sole regret in life was the ‘melancholy reflection’ that when he eventually passed away, ‘the Chancellor of the Exchequer will congratulate himself on the acquisition of the death duties of an Irish millionaire.
As chance would have it, Murphy’s great antagonist in 1913 was referenced by Fitzpatrick in the same issue of the Lepracaun. A half-page cartoon saw him earnestly hope that ‘Mr. Jim Larkin (a good name for a labour leader)’ would use his growing influence to ensure that Dublin hearse drivers did not become caught up in a carters strike. This would help avoid the potentially ‘appalling calamity’ of their jobs being carried out under police escort by strike-breaking replacements. This was no evidence of an innate aversion to strikes, for in the Lepracaun’s next issue Fitzpatrick unequivocally declared his support for the carters, wishing them ‘every success against the money-grabbers’, whom he portrayed in a cartoon as caring more about the welfare of their horses than the starving men they paid a pittance to drive them. In a separate cartoon from the same issue Fitzpatrick also found humour in the fact that clerks ordinarily employed in the ‘Sweatem’ company’s offices were being forced to endure the humiliating ordeal of becoming temporary dray drivers under police protection. Throughout his life Fitzpatrick was noted for the social conscience which he frequently exhibited in his work, with one obituary ending with the words, ‘He took down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly’.
For the first time a Plaque has been placed at Hawthorn Terrace to mark the house where Sean O’Casey lived in Dublin’s East Wall. It was unveiled by the playwright’s life long fan, Joe Duffy, on Sunday, November 2nd, 2014.
ALSO: Thursday, October 23rd, at 6.30 pm: Dr Emmet O’Connor is giving a lecture in Liberty Hall on ‘An International Perspective: How international was Larkinism? How British was Larkin?’
This event is being organised by the Irish Labour History Society, in conjunction with the Dublin District Council of SIPTU. RSVP: Joan McClean 01-8588320.
German Mausers being unloaded from the Asgard on Sunday July 26th, 1914
Saturday, July 26th, 2014
THE HOWTH GUN RUNNING; 100 YEARS ON
Collins Barracks, Dublin
10.00am Welcome with Raghnall O’ Floinn, Director, National Museum of Ireland
10.10am The Guns of July Professor Michael Laffan, University College, Dublin
10.30am Ulster Volunteer Force Gun-running, 1913-14 Dr Tim Bowman, University of Kent
10.50am The Gun-running: Planning and Personalities Sandra Heise, National Museum of Ireland
11.10am Q&A session chaired by Brian Crowley, Curator, Pearse Museum
11.20 – 11.50am COFFEE BREAK
11.50am At home on the Asgard: the Accounts of Mary Spring Rice and Molly Childers
Professor Lucy McDiarmid. Marie Frazee-Baldassarre Professor of English at Montclair State University
12.10pm The Life of Robert Erskine Childers Professor Rory Childers, University of Chicago (more…)
Athena Media first Irish independent to win four awards at 2014 New York Festival Radio Awards
Therese McIntyre of Athena accepts Award on Behalf of Company in New York
Four Athena Media radio projects have brought home awards from this year’s prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards, winning two Gold, one Silver, and one Finalist award. Herosongs, our history meets song series (RTE Radio 1/BAI), won Gold in the best educational programming category; Citizens: Lockout 1913-2013, our landmark history series (RTE Radio 1/BAI) won Gold in best history programming; and our science series Science is Everywhere (Newstalk/BAI) won Silver in best science and technology programming. Our project James Joyce: The Dead, an illustrated reading by Barry McGovern, was also a Finalist in the best narration craft category.
Athena Media is the first Irish independent production company to have won four awards for multiple projects at the New York Festival Radio Awards.
Athena Media MD Helen Shaw said:
“It’s humbling to get such a response from an international jury of radio peers. It’s a fantastic tribute to the whole Athena Media team and to the support of the BAI Sound and Vision Scheme and UCD in supporting our work. We are delighted to make history as an Irish independent production company in the New York Festival Radio Awards and thank our broadcasters RTE Radio 1, RTE Lyric FM and Newstalk for their collaboration in the success of this work.” (more…)
RHYTHMS OF A PORT
A Film Installation
PhotoIreland Festival 2014
You are warmly invited to the
Tuesday 1st July at 6pm
Sea Tunes provided by Eoin Kenny, Sean Fitzpatrick, Ceoltóirí Chluain Tarbh and John Nolan
The Red Brick Shed on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay
at the junction with Lime Street, beside the Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin 2
Set in an imposing redbrick warehouse beside the Samuel Beckett Bridge on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, the audiovisual artwork Rhythms of a Port intertwines the stories and memories of dockworkers, boatmen and port managers with personal reflections and insights on dock life from the artist. Multiple screens hang from the rafters, bringing a former dry cargo store to life and reminding us that the vibrant hub of Dublins’ working docks was once close to the heart of the city. Descriptions of contemporary reality on the docks contrast with its history and illustrate an evolving way of life. Arresting industry visuals are amplified by the rugged harmonies of forklift warnings, creaking wood and metal, squeaking ropes and pulleys, and seagulls.
‘The voices and surrounding sounds are the poetry of the everyday, the poetry of life. No drama here, but great beauty, a gentle pace allows you to soak it up….These custodians of the docks and surrounding sea are given the central voice, the “story” is told at a steady pace, steered by the camera and a keen listening ear. The rhythm of the piece, juxtaposed with the steel and industry of the port are beautifully realised.’
– Dr. Sally McDee, Researcher and Writer
The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School 2014
The third annual festival will be held on Cork’s north side in historic Shandon from Tuesday 29th July until Mother Jones Day on Friday 1st August.
Born nearby, Mary Harris was baptised in Cork’s North Chapel on August 1st 1837. Emigrating to America after the Famine, she became a miners union activist and was associated with the March of the Mill Children in 1903, the foundation of the Wobblies and many of the coal wars. A plaque was unveiled to her in Shandon on 1st August 2012 at the inaugural festival.
To celebrate her life almost 30 events will be held with speakers, musicians and film makers from the USA, the UK, Greece and Ireland taking part. The emphasis will be on themes and events associated the Spirit of Mother Jones, the radical union organiser, defender of workers and campaigner against injustice who became known as “the most dangerous woman in America”.
Mother Jones – ‘the most dangerous woman in America’
Thursday 31st July is devoted to the struggles of miners and mining communities which were championed by Mother Jones. Landmark labour events such as the British Miners Strike, the Battle for Orgreave, the Ludlow Massacre and the Durham Gala celebration will feature prominently, with speakers Betty Cook, Anne Scargill, Dave Hopper, and Paul Winter taking part. Rosemary Feurer of Northern Illinois University and Professor James Green of Boston will also present lectures on labour history.
Rosemary, who is probably the foremost expert on Mother Jones will deliver a paper entitled “Get off your knees” James Connolly, Jim Larkin and the fight for a Global Labour Movement.
Luke Dineen will give an account of the Cork Harbour Soviet of 1921. The extraordinary tale of little remembered Cork socialist and patriot Tadhg Barry will be presented in film and in story by Trevor Quinn of SIPTU and Jack O’Sullivan of Cork Council of Trade Unions. Tadhg O’Sullivan will tell of the miners of Allihies and their connections to Butte, Montana.
Themes of injustice such as the story of the Magdalens will be delivered by Claire McGettrick of JFM. The workers graveyard that is now World Cup Qatar will be discussed by David Joyce of the ICTU. Law and injustice, with solicitor Gareth Peirce will provide another significant and vital element of the festival.
Film maker Lamprini Thoma will show her film on Louis Tikas and Ludlow for the first time outside of Greece at the festival. A new documentary by Frameworks Films “Mother Jones and her Children” will have its premiere at the festival.
Labour and union folk singers, songwriters Si Kahn (Aragon Mill) and Anne Feeney (Union Maid) will feature in a one off festival fundraising concert on Thursday 31st July (tickets €15 euro at tickets.ie).
All other events are free. Singers and musicians such as Jimmy Crowley, Two Time Polka, Pete Duffy, Richard T Cooke, William Hammond, the Cork Singers Club, the Butter Exchange band, Wildwood Flower and the Mother Jones Ceili Band will ensure music and song and dance over the four days as we celebrate rebel Mary Harris/Mother Jones.
“The greatest woman agitator of our time was Mother Jones. Arrested, deported, held in custody by the militia, hunted and threatened by police and gunmen — she carried on fearlessly for sixty years” Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the Rebel Girl New York 1955. (more…)
RADE (Recovery through Art, Drama, Education) has been producing original theatre plays, films, art exhibitions, books of creative writing and short films for the past 10 years.
“A Hundred Years Ago” was first performed in Smock Alley Theatre in September 2013. It ran for a further three weeks in December and finally to mark the centenary of the end of the Lockout, a farewell performance, to raise money for Dublin Simon, played to a packed house in Liberty Hall Theatre.
The play explores the events that evolved through the autumn of 1913 when ordinary workers took a stand against the subsistent wages that held them in slavery. The play is delivered with bawdy humor that includes both jaunty and haunting ballad songs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHmHqBRSU7Y
Also see what Minister Joan Burton said in the Dail after seeing the show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5yqCH3L0hM