Liam Davis (b. 1925)
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Liam Davis (b. 1925)


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Liam Davis begins the recording by recalling his father, Michael Davis, and the Davis family from Kildalkey, Co. Meath. Michael’s father, Thomas Davis, was a slater and his mother, Mary Ellen Leech, was a schoolteacher in Kildalkey. The building trade was a Davis family tradition, Liam explains. Michael Davis was the only member of the family to leave Kildalkey for Dublin. He came initially to Terenure, and while in Knocklyon he joined the Volunteers. He worked as a conductor for the Dublin United Tramway Company owned by Martin Murphy, and he enlisted in B Company IRA in 1918. Liam reads from his father’s military service pension application. In 1924 Michael joined the Garda Siochána and was stationed in Rathmines and later in Dublin Castle, before completing his service in Store Street station. Liam remarks that his father always carried a gun in a shoulder holster. A photograph of his mother, Annie Lee from Rathfarnham, and his maternal aunt Katie is discussed, and he explains that Eddie Lee, a member of the family, was active in the revolutionary period. The closure of the Criminal Investigation Department at Oriel House is recalled and Liam explains that the men dispersed to join either the police force or the army. The men who got a commission in the Free State Army received a larger pension, he says, and his father took up the case for the increase in pension for the other men. Liam reads from his father’s letter to the Board of Assessors regarding the military service pension. He recalls his father’s career as a Garda, and explains that for a period he was on protective duty travelling on the Mailboat between Dublin and England with the mail. Later, he was one of the armed men on duty at the Four Courts, and later still he was on guard duty at the Radio Éireann station at the GPO. Liam remembers his father as a kind man who, towards the end of his life, came to live with him. Liam explains that his father’s service at Oriel House was classed as military service and not as police service. Oriel House was set up by Michael Collins as a counterpart to New Scotland Yard, he explains, and also there were Mark Byrne, Patrick O’Reilly and Peter Doran. Michael Davis received a pension and achieved the rank of Lieutenant in the Old IRA, and Liam says that he himself knew nothing about the details of his work until the military service pension application document was released. He knew that his father had served in the IRA and supported the Treaty, though he never spoke about this time or about politics. Liam recalls the fact that his father would often attend the Garda Club and also a public house on Clarendon Street where he would meet his friends. He reads further from his father’s letter to the Board of Assessors, which includes some information relating to the work of Oriel House and also lists the referees for his military service pension application.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

23.39 MB

Number of files:
Product ID:



Michael Davis (Interviewee’s father)

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore