Monday 24 October 2016

Connaughton's last visit to family before reporting to GPO

Rebel stories

Patrick Connaughton
Patrick Connaughton

Patrick Connaughton was born in Longford in 1889 but was working in Motherwell, Scotland in the period prior to the Easter Rising.

His father, Laurence Connaughton, was a prominent Home Ruler in Longford.

Patrick returned to Ireland a few months before Easter 1916, met with Tom Clarke and joined the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers, B Company, 1st Battalion. During this period he stayed with other volunteers at Nicholas Street in Dublin.

On the Wednesday prior to the Rising, Patrick asked permission from Tom Clarke to return to Longford to visit his family there, possibly for the last time.

Permission was granted and in his own words, "Tom Clarke gave me a revolver and said, if anyone tries to take it from you, you give them what's in it".

After visiting his family, Patrick got the first train on Easter Monday - the only one that morning - from Longford to Dublin. He then joined up with his battalion in the GPO.

He was stationed in the GPO and also worked on sentry duty at Liffey Street, until the building was evacuated the following Friday and the surrender order given a day later.

After being arrested in the Rotunda Gardens (near the present day Garden of Remembrance) Patrick was taken to Richmond Barracks and then deported to Stafford gaol in England, and on to Frongoch interment camp in Wales.

Because he had worked in Scotland, Patrick was wanted for conscription for British military service - a move he and other prisoners resisted.

Patrick remained at Frongoch until his release in November 1916. He then returned to Dublin and was attached to the Dublin brigade of the Irish Volunteers until 1918.

He later worked for the Dublin Corporation and lived on Merton Avenue, off the South Circular Road, until his death in 1946.

Details submitted by Brian Connaughton (grandson)

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