Granddaughter welcomes Mulvey name on river walk
THE granddaughter of the late William Mulvey has welcomed a decision to name a river walk at the Dargle after her grandfather, and his brother Stephen ‘Steenie’ Mulvey.
Stephen fought in the Easter Rising of 1916, while William was in the British army and was a soldier in the First World War.
The family lived at St Brigid’s Terrace along the Dargle Road, overlooking People’s Park where a garden of remembrance was installed last year in honour of the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.
Members of Bray Municipal District decided at a recent meeting to name the route after the two brothers. Their brother Nicolas was also involved in the 1916 Rising, tasked with taking down telephone poles.
Catherine Mulvey is a native of London and lives in Fermanagh. She has taken a great interest in the history of her family.
‘I never knew my grandfather William Mulvey,’ she said. William died in 1918.
‘I started out with just a photo, a medal and a name,’ said Catherine.
William was born in April of 1882, the youngest of seven children.
Catherine found out that William was presented with a Royal Society Humane Award by Lord Meath in 1906 for saving lives during a flooding in Bray in 1905.
William married Catherine Berns in July 1907, when he was 25 and she was 28. They had a daughter, May, who was born in 1911. Their son William was born in 1915, after William had enlisted in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
‘ The chances are he was off doing training around the time my father was born,’ said Catherine. William was sent to France in December 1915.
He was in battles such as Hulluck, Guillemont and Ginchy.
He was a lance sergeant in the ninth battalion. Catherine believes this was because he was already in his 30s at this time, and the younger men would have looked up to him.
After Ginchy, William got trench fever which made him terribly ill. He was sent home to the barracks in Kildare, before being transferred to Mullingar.
There he got the Spanish flu and it killed him in five days. He did in October 1918, just six weeks before the end of the war.
Steenie Mulvey walked from Bray to Dublin to take up arms in the Rising. He was at Boland’s Mill and the GPO.
He was one of the stretcher bearers that got James Connolly out. He got shot in the conflict but managed to make his way back to Bray some days later.
Steenie was a local hero. In August 1915 he rescued a girl who fell 30 feet off the bridge into the river. He was also a Bray Emmets star.
The naming of the walkway went out to public consultation this year. Members ultimately agreed on ‘Mulvey Way;.
Cllr Brendan Thornhill, who championed the cause, said that Steenie was a member of Bray Urban Council, and that he had won an All-Ireland medal. He had jumped off the Dargle Bridge to save a woman’s life, and was also involved with the trade union movement.
Cllr Thornhill said that, with William Mulvey joining the British Army, the family was divided. ‘At that time it must have been a very hard thing to do,’ said Cllr Thornhill.
Lance Sergeant William Mulvey
Catherine M Mulvey.