Con Colbert memorial plaque at Barrington’s Hospital, Limerick.

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A memorial plaque dedicated to Con Colbert of Na Fianna Eireann, who was executed in 1916.

The plaque is now safely housed in the ‘Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum’ in Limerick. It was originally donated to Barrington’s Hospital, on May 4th 1958, in memory of Con Colbert, along with a bed named in his honour.

When Barrington’s Hospital closed down a number of years ago and then opened shortly afterwards as a private hospital, I became concerned for the whereabouts of the plaque. For a long time the new owners at Barrington’s Hospital couldn’t give me a straight answer as to where the plaque was and I feared that it was either sold, lost or just thrown out. I eventually tracked it down to the ‘Jim Kemmy’ museum in Limerick, who had subsequently acquired it, where it is now well looked after and more importantly it is now accessible for future generations to view.

The original unveiling ceremony was covered in the national press the day after the event:

“The ceremonial opening of an endowed bed as a tribute to the memory of Captain Con Colbert the Athea Co. Limerick man, who was executed in 1916, took place in Barrington’s Hospital, Limerick. The bed, endowed by Mr. Eamon Martin, Dublin, a former Chief of Staff of “An Cead Sluagh” was put into public service with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by Mr. E. Dore, Limerick, a brother-in-law of the executed leaders, Tom Clarke and Edward Daly. Mr. Dore said it was a unique occasion, made wonderful by the gift to Barrington’s Hospital, dedicated to a man who would ever live in the memory of his friends and comrades’. Mr. Martin said that for years it had been his ambition to see erected memorials to their Fianna comrades, and when a start was made with the opening of the endowed bed to Madam Markievicz, in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, the work progressed. He commended a scheme to endow memorial beds to the old IRA”

The ceremony was also attended by Con’s sister Lila. Prominent Fianna veterans at the unveiling included Harry Walpole, Seamus Kavanagh, Christopher Martin, Paddy Ward, Seamus Pounch, Liam Langley, Robert Holland, Nora Connolly-O’Brien, Lt. Col. Sean Brennan and many other former comrades of Con’s from Limerick and the National organization.

Following the ceremony Mr. Eamon Martin hosted a dinner at Cruises Hotel for all those who attended the event. The Mayor of Limerick was the Guest of Honour.

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