Posted in Posts and podcasts

Padraic Uas O’Fathaigh – 1916 – Gort and South Galway

Connacht Tribune 27th December, 1968 p3. (abridged)

Liam Mellows Wikimedia Commons
Liam Mellows
Wikimedia Commons

Mr Fahy begins his story of Easter Week by recalling the arrest and imprisonment of Liam Mellows in the Autumn of 1915 and his deportation to Reading in April 1916. At that period the Galway County Board of the Irish or Sinn Fein Volunteers, which governed the force, had Mr George Nichols, Galway as chairman; Joseph Howley, Oranmore, treasurer; and Padraic O’Fathaigh, Lurgan, Gort, secretary, with Larry Lardner, Athenry as Brigade Commander. Meetings were held at Athenry and Mellows had his training camp at Ballycahalan. Mr. O’Fathaigh continues his story;

A convention was held in Limerick, at which plans were made for the Easter Sunday Rising. The delegates from Galway were Commandant Larry Gardner, Rev. Fr. Feeney, C.C.; Tresa Bhreathnach, Eamonn O’Corbain and Padraig O’Fathaigh. Mr. Ledden presided at the meeting, and it was arranged that the expected arms from Germany would be taken to Abbeyfeale and there sorted, some to be kept, and the remainder taken by rail to Gort to arm the Volunteers who would muster there on Easter Monday. Handbills about the Gort Monster Meeting were displayed at the Limerick Hall.
“Con” Fogarty would take the arms to Gort. Commandant Colivet would take charge of the Limerick Brigade of the Irish Volunteers at Limerick city. The Clare Battalion, led by Commandant Michael Brennan, would take any Clare barrack they might surprise, but would make no delay in moving to augment the Limerick Volunteers. The Companies of the Galway Brigade would attack the R.I.C. barracks in their area on Easter Sunday.

Commandant Larry Lardner was in command, Commandant Liam Mellows having been deported to England. The wily Commandant Mellows, however, succeeded in evading arrest and turned up at Mrs. Walshe’s house in Killeeneen some days before the intended Rising. Liam Mellows ordered that his escape should be kept a secret known only to the Walshe family, Eamonn Corbett and myself.
Liam’s uniform, enclosed in a parcel addressed to Mrs. Walshe, was expected to come via Athenry and its safe delivery was important. Since 1909 I taught Gaelic every Wednesday and Thursday night in Athenry.  My visit to Athenry on Wednesday elicited no surprise. Eamon Corbett was mixed up in rate collecting and travelled extensively. We got the parcel safely; George Fahy at the Railway Hotel and Berty Powell at the Railway Station would have scented out any danger. We took the parcel with all speed to Killeeneen; I thus missed the Irish class for the first time in seven years.

to be continued on