The first two persons to come on the scene were Kate Smith and Mickey Callan. Then came Joe Dolan and Andy McEntee. Cannon Lyons, who heard the shooting in the Parochial House across the river from us, came next. Doctor Steen and Nurse Cummins (a member of Cuman na mBan) came and cleaned him and patched him up and laid him out on his bed.
The Tans were all drunk and we found several empty whiskey and rum bottles in the hedge across the road. Doctor Moore held a post-mortem on the body. The cause of death was certified by a Military Court of Enquiry as shock and haemorrhage from gunshot wounds. Pat was 26 years old.
Pat was buried in Ballapousta in the same grave as his ancestors dating back to 1858.
Sean O’Carroll; an Irish teacher, was murdered the same night in Railway Street. Jimmy Farrelly, who was deported to Frongoch Jail in Wales after the Easter Week 1916 Rising, escaped out the back of his house in Railway Street as the Tans were at the front door and took refuge down the railway line.
Delia Spillane’s account her brother, Patrick’s murder
Before the Tans went off they said they would come back and burn the house over our heads. Shortly after my brother was murdered by the Black and Tans I joined Cuman na mBan. There were sixteen or seventeen single girls and married women who joined up with me at the time. We organised concerts, dances, plays and raffles to make money to help the boys on the run.
I cycled with dispatches to the Examiner office in Dundalk, to Morgans at the pump in Dunleer and to Eugene Kavanagh, Ballapousta, who was commanding officer of the IRA in the Ardee area. I also attended Cumann na mBan meetings in Drumconrath, Lobinstown and at Nurse Cummins’s house on Dundalk Road, Ardee, where she gave us lecturers in first aid and also at Keenan’s house, Bridge Street, Ardee.
I attended an all-Ireland meeting of Cumann na mBan in the Mansion House, Dublin, called after the Treaty was signed in 1921. I was invited to the opening of the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square, Dublin, in 1970, where I met some of my old comrades. There was a reception in Dublin Castle the night before, with dancing in the Great Hall to the music of the Garda Band.
I am now 90 years of age, and to the best of my knowledge, I am the only person left of old Cumann na mBan or Old IRA in Ardee’. (Delia Spillane nee Tierney’s unpublished memoir, 30th July 1991).
For her service to her country it was recognised that Delia was a member of the Ardee Company of Cumann na mBan, attached to the Third Battalion of the South Louth Brigade. Her commanding officers in Ardee were Eugene Kavanagh and Mrs T. Lynch. On 6th November 1963 Delia, like her slain brother Patrick, was awarded a Service (1917-1921) Medal. (Military Archives, Defence Forces Ireland, Ireland Military, Pensions and Medals, MD12710)
Perhaps when next you find yourself walking down Patrick Tierney Street or Sean O’Carroll Street pause for a moment at the plaques in honour of these two young men who, in their own way, gave their lives for Ireland just as the heroes of 1916 had done four years earlier. They shall not grow old.