Barney, Liam and Fred Mellows


Barney, Liam and Fred Mellows
Photograph Credit: Nicholas Furlong and Fiachra O Lionain


A rare photograph of the three Mellows brothers together; Barney, Liam and Fred, circa 1911.

In 1911 Liam, Barney and Frederick joined the Irish National Boy Scouts, Na Fianna Eireann. Liam and Barney, in particular, would both go on to play a central and significant role over the next decade in Ireland’s fight for freedom.

Possibly the last photograph of the brothers together. Frederick died of tuberculosis in 1914, Liam was executed in 1922, and Barney passed away in 1942.

Fred’s death was devastating for the two Mellows brothers, Liam and Barney. Barney would then suffer even further grief in 1922, when his last brother and best friend, Liam was executed during the Irish Civil War.

A former comrade who was arrested with Barney Mellows during the Civil War in 1922 and was with him on 8th December in Wellington Barracks awaiting transfer when the news was broke to Barney of his brother Liam’s execution, recalls that moment – “The light just died in his eyes and he never spoke. Only those who knew both brothers will realize what that fatal message meant. Barney was the younger brother, the reckless, debonair, merry kind, who worshipped the older, more cautious, more ascetic and studious Liam. Barney had the imaginative daring to carry out plans, Liam had the calculating courage to visualise them.”

3 responses to “Barney, Liam and Fred Mellows

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