Trib­utes paid to trade union hero


Bray People - - NEWS - MARY FOG­A­RTY

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).

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