Alicia Brady Died One Hundred Years Ago Today

 

Alicia Brady, a 16 year old Jacob’s striker, was fatally injured by the ricochet from a revolver fired by a strike breaker, or scab, called Patrick Traynor on this day (December 18th) 100 years ago. She would subsequently die from tetanus contracted from the ricochet, which struck her in the hand. At the inquest it was discovered that she had not been given an injection to prevent tetanus. Although this was standard practice in British and American hospitals, it was not routinely administered in Dublin. Her immune system was probably weakened by an inadequate diet over the previous three months.

She was bringing provisions for her family from the Manchester Shed on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, where Food Ship supplies, were stored when a clash occurred between local women and two strike breakers delivering a cartload of coal to St Mark’s Church on Great Brunswick (now Pearse) Street in Dublin. It is not clear if she joined the protest. She was struck in an open hand which suggests she had put down the provisions and the family oral tradition is that she raised her hands to protect herself from the gunfire. It also suggests she was at or near the front of the group of protestors.

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There is no photograph of Alicia so we have to make do with this reproduction of the incident from the Lockout Tapestry in the Panel which also tells story of the defeat of the proposal to extend industrial action in support of Dublin workers at the Special TUC Conference on December 9th, the 1913 Children’s Party in Croydon House, the ITGWU recreational centre where 5,000 children were fed on Christmas Day and the funeral of Alicia Brady on January 4th where James Connolly gave the oration. During it he said, ‘Every scab and every employer of scab labour in Dublin is morally responsible for the death of the young girl we have just buried’. 

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