Tributes paid to trade union hero
COMMEMORATIVE MEETING HELD IN BRAY
LOCAL TRADE unionists paid tribute last week to the memory of Patrick Moran who was executed by hanging in Mountjoy Jail 90 years ago during the War of Independence. Patrick was national President of the Irish National Union of Vintners, Grocers & Allied Trades Assistants which is now Mandate Trade Union. He was also a delegate from Dun Laoghaire representing his Union on the Bray and Dun Laoghaire Trades and Labour Council which is now the Bray and District Council of Trade Unions.
A special meeting of the Council of Trade Unions on Monday evening commemorated the anniversary. He was arrested at his workplace a few days after Bloody Sunday in 1920.
Tried and convicted incorrectly for the shooting of two British spies in Mount Street in Dublin, he was sentenced to death and hanged with five others on the March 14 1921.
Following the executions the Irish Trade Union Congress called a national stoppage in protest. The Council of Trade Unions ensured it was totally observed in the Bray area and there was a shut-down of all firms and traffic in the town.
Council President John Byrne read out a Wicklow People report about the executions in 1921.
‘ The tragedies enacted at Mountjoy Jail on Monday morning created feelings of horror in the minds of the people of Bray,' it read, ‘ and it was with the utmost reluctance that the hopes of a reprieve for the six young Irishmen were abandoned. The first train from Bray to the City on Monday at 6.30 a.m. carried in a good contingent of workmen, who on learning of the order to cease work till 11 o'clock, joined the throngs at the gate of the prison.
‘ On the news reaching Bray about the stoppage of work, no further trains left Bray, and the first up train from Wexford was held up at Bray while the general stoppage lasted.
‘ The shops in the town were closed, and large crowds wended their way to the Church of the Holy Redeemer for 10 o'clock Mass, when prayers were offered for the six young Irishmen. The railwaymen marched in procession from the station to the Church and the congregation was a very large one. To many in Bray some of the victims were well known, particularly Patrick Moran, who was a frequent visitor to Bray, and was a delegate on the Bray and Dun Laoghaire Trades Council.'
The special commemorated meeting included a presentation from May Moran, a niece of Patrick and author of the recently published ‘ Executed for Ireland - The Patrick Moran Story' in which she reveals that although he was wrongfully convicted for the Mount Street killings, her uncle was in charge of the IRA party responsible for the shootings of two suspected British spies in the Gresham Hotel on that fateful Bloody Sunday morning. John Douglas, a native of Bray and General Secretary of Mandate also addressed the meeting.
In 2001, Patrick Moran was one of ten men to be exhumed from their graves in Mountjoy Jail and given a State funeral, finally being laid to rest in Glasnevin cemetery.
Commemorative meeting of the Bray and District Trade Union Council: (L-R) Cllr John Byrne, John Douglas (Secretary Mandate), May Moran (Patrick Moran's Niece), Kieron Connolly (Council Secretary).