Celine Slattery (b. 1930)
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Celine Slattery (b. 1930)


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P. C. O’Mahony was born and reared in Killarney, and in 1907 he was attached to the office of the Western Telegraph Company in Brazil. While there he met Roger Casement, and his daughter Celine describes the Irish Club where they met. Her father had always been patriotic, she says. A few years later he was transferred back to Dungarvan, and in 1912 he joined the IRB and became more actively involved. His daughter discusses his continued involvement in the struggle as a member of the IRA and Sinn Féin. P. C. O’Mahony took no part in the Civil War, and following Independence he was appointed Secretary of the Board of Health in Killarney. Celine recalls hearing stories from her father and his friends who would visit, people such as Pax Whelan from Dungarvan, and Éamon Dore and Nora Daly from Limerick. Celine describes what she heard from her father about Roger Casement. She recalls that it was Maureen Cregan (later Ryan) of Killorglin who brought word from Dublin to Kerry about the postponement of the Rising until Easter Monday 1916. She has in her possession some letters sent by Casement to her father. She was the youngest of ten children and it is only now that she realises the importance of the information contained in those letters. She recalls her father as an idealist who counselled her against judgementalism. He admired both de Valera and Collins but the split between them broke his heart, she says. He was a republican who fought for a thirty-two county republic. He admired both sides in the conflict, and Celine now reflects on the personalities of the two leaders. A letter written by her father to the press in November 1922, in which he appealed to the people of Ireland to stay together, is recalled. Celine discusses the order which came from P. H. Pearse to delay the start of the Rising, and she remembers the name of Marie Parolz being mentioned as the woman who brought the order from Dublin to Dungarvan. Maureen Cregan of Killorglin, who later married Jim Ryan who became Minister for Agriculture in the first Fianna Fáil government, is recalled. Jim Ryan’s sister was Seán T. O’Kelly’s first wife, Celine explains, and another sister, Min Ryan, married Richard Mulcahy. P. C. O’Mahony was arrested in 1916, but Celine is unclear about the details, remarking that her now deceased older brothers and sisters would probably have known more. Her father provided a witness statement to the Bureau of Military History. Celine recalls some of his friends and comrades. She speaks of the shame felt at the failure to release Roger Casement from captivity in Tralee in 1916, and she feels that this is still a sensitive issue. She remembers the occasion when her family moved to Tralee in the 1940s, and meeting Captain Monteith in 1950, at the time when Casement’s Fort was being developed near Banna Strand. Celine lists the councillors who were involved in this project and she recalls that Monteith became emotional at the unveiling of the monument. P. C. O’Mahony gave lectures about his experiences in South America and these are recalled, as are some articles he wrote for the Capuchin Annual. Celine reads from a description written by her father of Roger Casement at the Irish Club in Rio de Janeiro. He kept a diary during his time in Brazil and she reads an entry in which he mentions the fact that he is looking forward to coming home and fighting for Ireland’s freedom. She discusses the context of the time and how the general population of Ireland must have felt about the British occupation. She recalls her father’s attitude to Roger Casement and says that she considers the exhumation of Casement’s remains and the re-interment at Glasnevin Cemetery to have been a very important event. P. C. O’Mahony died in 1958, and Celine remarks that her late husband, Paddy Slattery, attended the 1966 commemorations in his stead. She discusses the public attitude at that time, and nowadays, to commemorating such events. After Independence, her father was director of elections for Éamon de Valera in Clare and Donegal. As a local government employee he could not get involved in politics, but Celine is aware that he always voted Fianna Fáil. Johnny Connor from Farmer’s Bridge, Tralee, who was a Clann na Phoblachta TD, was a great friend of her father, and she feels that P.C. might have thought that the time had come for a new party. She also discusses Seán MacBride’s political life. Celine has her father’s 1916 medal and her mother, Kathleen Fleming’s, Cumann na mBan medal. Kathleen came from near Killarney and, as far as Celine can recall, all the wives joined Cumann na mBan and supported one another. The couple were married in 1911 and had ten children. Celine reflects on her mother’s life, rearing a family and being involved with the struggle while her husband was in and out of prison. Celine remembers Christina Swanzy who was married to Seán Connolly, the first man to be shot in the 1916 Rising. Mrs Connolly returned to Tralee with her three children and later remarried, and Celine recalls her (Mrs McCarthy as she became) singing at fundraising concerts arranged by Cumann na mBan. Celine remarks that her father received a small pension, and recalls that some years ago she was invited to give an oration at a Tralee ceremony, and was proud to wear her mother’s Cumann na mBan badge. She remembers the fact that her father impressed on her the importance of community involvement, and this is the reason why she has maintained this involvement down the years. She has also met some interesting people through her involvement, people such as Leslie Bean de Barra, wife of Tom Barry. She considers the psychological effects of the struggle on her parents and the disillusionment they later felt, and the lectures on Casement delivered by her father to the Roger Casement Cumann are recalled once again. She reads from one of P. C. O’Mahony’s articles which describes Casement at the Irish Club in Brazil, and considers the legacy of the man.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

47.14 MB

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Product ID:



Patrick C. O’Mahony (Interviewee’s father)

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore