Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers

The Old Cinema,
Chatsworth Street,
Co. Killkenny,
R95 XV05,

PSRA Registration No: 001687

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Lot 1265/0217

Estimate: €1400-1800

“Proud to Die for Ireland”
Thomas Whelan & Patrick Moran, executed 1921

A copy of the Manual of Catholic Piety, Duffy, Dublin, n.d., the leather cover stamped ‘Official Copy,’ stamped on f.e.p. ‘Prisoners’ Library, Mountjoy Prison,’ inscribed in ink on f.e.p. ‘Thomas Whelan / March 13th 1921 / Sentenced to Death / Mountjoy Prison / Dublin.’
A most poignant item. Thomas Whelan, from Co. Galway, and Patrick Moran, from Co. Roscommon, were both members of the Irish Volunteers. Patrick Moran fought in the Jacob’s Factory garrison during the Easter Rising and was imprisoned; later he became a Captain in the Dublin Brigade. Both men were arrested after ‘Bloody Sunday,’ 21 November 1920, when fourteen British intelligence officers were shot dead by members of Michael Collins’ squad.’ Whelan and Moran were separately charged with the murder of British officers in the course of this operation. Both were convicted and sentenced to death, although there was credible evidence that both were at Mass, miles away, at the time of the attacks. Patrick Moran was so convinced that his innocence would be recognised, that he declined an opportunity to escape from Mountjoy with another prisoner (who got away successfully).
The Manual is inscribed the two condemned men for the prison chaplain, Canon John Waters, who would have heard their confessions and administered Mass before the executions. Canon Waters was not known for his sympathy for Republicans, but presumably he was sufficiently impressed by their character and demeanor to ask for their signatures.
Patrick Moran, Patrick Whelan and their comrade Kevin Barry were among ten Republican prisoners hanged at Mountjoy in 1920 – 21, whose bodies were reinterred in Glasnevin Cemetery after a full State funeral in 2001. (1)

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