Recent Acquisitions

Patrick Hennessy, Photograph

Patrick Hennessy was a volunteer in the Clooney Company of the 1st Battalion, Clare IRA on the anti-treaty side during the Irish Civil War (1922-1923).

In January 1923, Hennessy was wounded and then captured by Free State troops in a dugout with along with several other comrades. He and Con Mc Mahon, who was captured with him, were put before a military tribunal and were convicted on dubious evidence of damaging the railway station at Ard Solus. They were sentenced to death and were executed on the morning of 23 January 1923, becoming two of the 77 anti-treaty IRA members executed by the Free State during the Civil War.

This photograph is a copy of an original sent to Hennessy’s Aunt Emily who lived in the USA. It was she who wrote the inscription “Poor Patrick, Jan 20, 1923”. Emily’s granddaughter, Patricia Benker, who lives in California, located the other Hennessy letters in this collection while carrying out a search on the internet, and subsequently donated this photograph to the museum.

At the time of his execution, Hennessy was the county secretary of the Clare GAA. There are GAA medals awarded for hurling with Clooney visible in the photograph, attached to the watch fob in his waistcoat.

Ref: 2005.212

Irish Civil War
Patrick Hennessy Letter 1923
Patrick Hennessy, Last Letter

Patrick Hennessy, Photograph 2005.212