Jimmy Leonard (b. 1939) and Clare Duffy (b. 1934)
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Jimmy Leonard (b. 1939) and Clare Duffy (b. 1934)


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Track 1: Jimmy Leonard discusses the Leonard family background. He explains that his father, Joseph Leonard, very seldom spoke of his experiences during the 1916-1923 period. Leonard was a member of Michael Collins’s Squad, and his son describes his father’s attempted jail-break of Seán McKeon from Mountjoy Jail. His time in Kerry with the Free State Army during the Civil War is also recalled. Track 2: Joe Leonard resigned from the army in 1926, and he maintained friendships with former colleagues, Paddy O’Daly and Dan Holland thereafter, his son explains. He also discusses his own discovery of guns and ammunition in the family home, many years after his father’s death. Track 3: Old photographs and letters are displayed and examined, and Jimmy Leonard discusses his own feelings about the atrocities carried out by both sides during the Civil War. Joe Leonard’s actions on the occasion of Ireland’s leaving the Commonwealth in 1949 are recalled. Track 4: Jimmy Leonard proudly displays his father’s military medals, and explains their value to him. An amusing anecdote is related regarding the attempted rescuing of Seán McKeon from Mountjoy Jail during the War of Independence by Joe Leonard and others. Track 5: Clare Duffy recalls her childhood in the Leonard household at Fortfield Road in Terenure, her father’s reluctance to discuss his experiences in 1916, and her reaction to the details of his involvement with Collins’s Twelve Apostles (also known as the Squad). Track 6: A visit by Richard Mulcahy to her father, during which the two men discussed the 1916-1923 period is recalled, as is her father’s demeanour, and his religious faith. Joe Leonard’s untimely death in the early 1960s, and the trauma he had previously suffered, are also recalled. Track 7: Johanna Crone, Clare Duffy’s mother, and her family, are recalled. Track 8: This track contains a discussion on the funeral of Joe Leonard, and the apprehension felt by his widow about the possibility of a demonstration on that occasion.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

7.26 MB, 3.58 MB, 5.48 MB, 6.85 MB, 6.00 MB, 7.30 MB, 5.72 MB, 8.15 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Leonard, Joseph (interviewees’ father)

Recorded by: