Patsy O’Connor (1897-1915)

Patsy O'Connor (1897-1915)

Patsy O’Connor

On June 15th, 1915 Fianna member Patsy O’Connor died of wounds he brutally received two years earlier from the police during the ‘1913 Lockout’. He was hit on the head by a police baton while giving first aid to a wounded old man. Patsy, from Harold’s Cross, had shortly before passed his first aid exams and had received a certificate from the St. Patrick’s Ambulance Association.

Patsy was very active and prominent in the Fianna organization. He was involved in the production of the Fianna newspaper until shortly before his death. Patsy was also very close to Countess Markievicz and, as part of her ‘Surrey House’ clique, spent most of his free time at her Rathmines residence. He was Lieutenant in command of the Fianna Inchicore Sluagh at the time of his death.

In 1917 Liam Mellows wrote a fitting tribute to Patsy in the Gaelic American newspaper:

“Poor Patsy O’Connor died very suddenly in 1915. During the great Dublin strike of 1913, Patsy received a severe blow on the head from a police baton while trying to administer first aid to an old man who had been badly hurt during one of the baton charges. After superficial treatment at a hospital Patsy thought he was all right as the wound healed up rapidly. But two years later he arrived home one evening complaining of a pain in his head and after drinking a cup of tea suddenly collapsed and died almost immediately. A clot of blood had congealed on the brain and two years after the blow, had burst.

His comrades felt Patsy’s death badly. He was a most promising boy and had been in the Fianna since he was twelve years old. Full of fun and laughter, but brave as a lion and true as steel, his whole heart was bound up in the cause of Ireland and his death robbed it of one whose only thought was ‘The Day’ he never lived to see. His comrades gave him their first Fianna military funeral (on 17th June 1915) and marched with sorrowing hearts behind his coffin draped with the Irish Republican colours to Glasnevin”

 

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