Paddy Gleeson
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Paddy Gleeson


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O’Callaghan’s Mills was my destination one bright summer’s evening in 2004, when a friend from Doolin, Gussie McMahon brought me to a lovely traditional cottage, the home of Paddy Gleeson who was born in 1904, in Scariff, Co. Clare. We talked about his recollections of his early days, and he remembers how the mood of the people locally underwent a major change after the execution of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, with young people joining the Volunteer Movement as he did himself in 1917. The movement began to engage in such activities as cattle driving, and on one occasion they approached the owners of the sawmills in Scariff and suggested that work should cease as Irish timber should not in future be exported to England. The Volunteers were met at the sawmills by Constable Cook and three men were arrested and charged. During the subsequent court case, which Paddy Gleeson attended, disruption by a crowd of republican sympathisers caused the case to be abandoned and as the prisoners were being marched down O’Connell Street in Ennis, a horse and car t was pulled in front of the military formation, allowing the men to escape through the melee. They were captured within the month and brought to Mountjoy prison in Dublin. Paddy Gleeson recalled joining the Scariff Branch of the Boy Scout Brigade, formed by Countess Markeivicz, as all the local boys did in their early youth at that time. My evening in O’Callaghan’s Mills was well spent and I very much enjoyed sitting and talking with a man whose company I relished and whose recollections form such an important segment of the big picture that is our history.

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Audio series:

Witnesses to Independence


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

65.62 MB

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Product ID:



The Irish Volunteers

Recorded by:

Dominic Kiernan