One hundred years ago last Friday, the 20th of January 1923, two Clooney IRA volunteers were executed by the Free State Army in Limerick Gaol. The night before, both men wrote to their families. They were accused of attacking Ardsollus station and procuring arms for the IRA.
Sadly, it wasn’t until the last Wednesday of October in 1924 that Patrick Hennessy and Con McMahon were given the dignity of a proper burial — a resting place among their own people in Clooney, over 21 months after they had been executed in Limerick Gaol by an Irish Army firing squad.
The bodies of the two volunteers had been kept at the Gaol after their execution, with one theory being that the Bishop of Killaloe, who was a staunch supporter of the Cumann na nGaedheal government headed up by his personal friend, WT Cosgrove, refused to allow the bodies to be buried on consecrated ground in Clare.
Last Sunday a commemoration was held at Clooney graveyard with the main speakers being Dr. Tomás MacConmara and J.J. Considine.
Article by Siobhán O’Sullivan and photos below by Ann McNamara : January 2023
Dr. Tomás MacConmara
J.J. and Joe Considine along with Seán Walsh
People attending the Commemoration
The Clare Museum have written a really interesting piece on the famous last letter of Patrick Hennessey. It contains much information on the tragic events as well as the impact on their loved ones and the community. Below is an actual photo of the letter and you can read the full article if you click on this link.
Patrick Hennessy’s last letter – Courtesy of the Clare Museum