Liam Mellows (1892-1922)
A Few Memories
Mr. Seamus McCarra,
The Picture in the Clubhouse.
My late father James McCarra was a good friend of Liam Mellows. As my father was involved in the 1916 Rising, he had many contacts with him. My father met my mother in Rathnure and got married there. Her name was Ann O' Connor, a sister of Teddy O'Connor who played County Hurling with Wexford. My father was an agent for The Pearl Insurance Company. He was appointed Area Manager for Galway in 1928 and resided there at The New Docks in "Seaport House."
The picture in Mellows clubhouse was bought by my father at an auction in Enniscorthy Co. Wexford in 1928. It is now about 77 years old and is still in its original frame. Before he died in 1986, he requested that the picture be given to the Liam Mellows Hurling Club. His wish was granted and a new home has been found for it.
Liam Mellows was born at Harts Head Military Barracks, Lancashire on 25th May 1892. His father, William Joseph, was a Sergeant in the British Army. He was born in Callan, Co. Kilkenny. His mother was from Wexford where Liam spent many a happy holiday.
Liam's family came to Ireland in February 1895 and lived in Annadale Avenue , Fairview, Dublin . Two years later, the family moved to Cork . Liam's father sent Liam to Military School at Wellington Barracks. His father was hoping that one of the family would follow in his footsteps.
The family moved back to Dublin in 1900 and once again, Liam's father sent him to Portobello Garrison to become an Officer. No such luck. Liam's refusal was a great disappointment to his father. Liam became an avid reader of The Irish Freedom paper and became very excited about an Irish Republic . Liam's mother was Sarah Jordan.
One day he walked into a small newsagents which was on Parnell Street owned by Thomas J. Clarke, one of the 1916 Signatories where he joined the movement. Later he became a captain in the movement and turned out to be a great organizer. He travelled all over Ireland , i.e. Wexford, Kilkenny and of course Galway . He spent a lot of time in Tuam and Athenry in 1913. He had digs in Athenry run by a woman called Mrs. Broderick. He spent a great amount of time there and in surrounding towns organising for The Rising.
In November 1913, he was called back to Dublin . He took part in The 1916 Rising but never agreed to the Treaty signed in 1921, which became law in 1922. He became involved in a bitter civil war against the Free State Government. He was duly arrested and interned.
During 1922, a Free state T.D was killed by Republicans. His name was Sean Hales ( Cork ). As a reprisal Richard Mulcahy Commander in Chief, along with Kevin O'Higgins, Minster for Justice, sanctioned the execution of four leading Republicans. Among them was Liam Mellows. Also Joe Mc Kelvey, Dick Barrett and Rory O'Connor.
A sad outcome.
The four men were executed at 9pm on the 8th December 1922 in Mountjoy Jail.
Seamus McCarra. (Son)
1895 - 1986 (91 years old) R.I.P.