Eileen Butterly (b. 1936), Part 1
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Eileen Butterly (b. 1936), Part 1


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Track 1: Eileen Butterly describes her O’Connor family background. Her Limerick grandfather, Thomas O’Connor, who moved to Dublin, had republican ideals. Her uncle, Tommy O’Connor, was a member of the IRB who worked as a courier bringing messages from Ireland to America. He was aboard the Carpathia when the Titanic sank in April 1912 and he assisted with the rescue of passengers. After the Rising, he settled in America where he subsequently remained. Track 2: Stories told to Eileen Butterly by her father, John S. O’Connor, are recounted. He was based in North King Street during the Rising, with Frank and Jack Shouldice and Piaras Beaslaí. (Beaslaí helped draft the Constitution for the First Dáil. He was also IRA Director of Propaganda at one time. During the Civil War, he was a major-general in the Free State Army.) Track 3: After the Rising, John S. O’Connor and his brother Tommy were imprisoned in Frongoch Camp in North Wales, and on their release they returned to Dublin. John later qualified as a solicitor and he opened a practice in Ormond Quay in 1926. He was election agent for Éamon de Valera and for Seán T. O’Kelly, and Eileen daughter recalls her father’s time as TD for Dublin North Central. John S. O’Connor was also at one time President of the Law Society. Track 4: Eileen Butterly reads from one of the coded messages brought by her uncle, Tommy O’Connor, from Dublin to John Devoy in New York before the Rising. She speaks about the Emergency (1939-1945) and life in Clontarf at that time. Track 5: Her father’s antipathy towards Fine Gael and the Blueshirts is recalled, as are his feelings about the recent Northern Troubles. Track 6: Eileen describes her time working in her father’s practice before her marriage to Pat Butterly. Track 7: Eileen reads from a letter written by her father to the local RIC station requesting the return of his rifle, seized in 1914. She also discusses a recording of her father, compiled in 1966, and she reveals that Kathleen Clarke, widow of Thomas Clarke, was her godmother. (Thomas Clarke was the first signatory to the 1916 Proclamation and he was executed for his part in the Rising.) Eileen also records her deep admiration for the Clarke family.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

9.14 MB, 11.56 MB, 6.31 MB, 4.14 MB, 5.64 MB, 2.22 MB, 7.84 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



O’Connor, John S. and O’Connor, Tommy (Interviewee’s father and uncle respectively)

Recorded by:

Risteárd Mulcahy (Interviewee’s son)