Ann Keegan (b.1936)
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Ann Keegan (b.1936)


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Ann Keegan grew up in the South Dublin village of Rathcoole in a house adjacent to the former Black and Tans barracks. Ann’s father, Paddy Murphy who was aged 19, and his 17 year old brother Tom were active during the 1916 Rising. She explains that the IRA would conduct exercises and drilled on the lands around Ardfarrell, Tallaght, Blessington and Rathcoole. She also explains that Jacob’s hardware shop in Rathcoole kitted out of the men in dry clothes and boots. Ann’s mother would describe watching the night sky lit up by the fires from the direction of the city during the week of the Rising in 1916. Ann remembers being told by her mother about a man named ‘Codger’ McLoughlin. He and his father were tailors in the village of Rathcoole. After Codger’s capture in 1916, he was imprisoned in Frongoch in Wales where he died soon afterwards, cause of death unknown. Ann explains that her grandfather, Billie, ran up a flag bearing a black cross in commemoration of Codger McLoughlin, which sparked an argument with the Black and Tans Chief Officer Tunney. When her grandfather refused to remove the flag, and while he was standing on a chair, Tunney fired shots around the legs of the chair. Her grandfather, ‘Billy the Brogue’ made and mended shoes. He was also a thatcher and is remembered as a strong nationalist. In Ann’s recollection of the village of Rathcoole in her youth, her mother’s people lived on one side of the Black and Tan barracks. She explains that a telephone was located in the barrack yard and that her mother and aunt would eavesdrop on the soldiers and then report back what they had heard to the men on the run. Paddy and Tom Murphy were strong supporters of Éamon de Valera, while Ann’s uncle Willie Bermingham supported another party. She recalls many arguments in the kitchen over the years, and that Kevin Barry was often spoken of. Her mother was in Dublin city centre the day Kevin Barry was executed on November 1920. Ann recalls the commemorations in 1966 when she and her family went to Thomas Street in Dublin. She remembers, even at such a young age, the feelings of patriotism and the general atmosphere at the time. Ann’s father, Paddy Murphy, was a member of 9th Battalion Old IRA and was an intelligence officer in 1920. From 1920 to 1922 he acted as a judge of the IRA courts in Rathcoole. He was elected to Celbridge Rural Council in 1920 and served as a member of Dublin County Council from 1955 to 1960. Ann has given her father’s medals to her son Paddy, and she feels very proud of her father and her uncles and the roles they played in Ireland’s struggle for freedom.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

26.16 MB

Number of files:
Product ID:



Paddy Murphy (Interviewee’s father)

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore