A 1916 Mystery

Whelan House  croppedWhelan House is a housing complex on Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, backing on to the river Dodder. Built in the 1930s, it was named in memory of Patrick Whelan (1893–1916), who was active in the Ringsend branch of the Gaelic League and a Volunteer under the command of Éamon de Valera during the Easter Rising. He was killed in crossfire during the battle of Mount Street Bridge.

Whelan House 1 cropped

According to the National Graves Association, Patrick Whelan was only 23 years of age when he died. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, where a memorial stone was unveiled on 24 November, 1935. You can see a photograph of the memorial here.

Where in Pembroke Cottages did Patrick Whelan live?

Some historical sources say that Patrick Whelan lived in Pembroke Cottages, Ringsend. Some give his address as no. 25, others say no. 28. We looked up the 1911 Census but found no one with the right age or name in Pembroke Cottages, Ringsend. But we did find a Patrick Whelan, age 17, living at 44 Pembroke Cottages, Donnybrook. He lived there with his father, mother and one younger brother. The Census was taken on 2 April 1911, so it is possible that the family left Donnybrook and was living in the Pembroke Cottages in Ringsend in 1916.

If anyone has further information about where Patrick Whelan lived at the time of the Easter Rising, please contact us.

Words and photos by Louise Whelan

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3 thoughts on “A 1916 Mystery

  1. I am the great niece of Patrick whelan,I believe he lived in 44 Pembroke cottages as his mother,father & brothers name match,He also had an older brother Martin who was killed in the battle of Jutland 5 weeks later,his address is also listed as 28 Pembroke cottages,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mary I would like to know who was your Father and Grandfather so I can fill you in on my family tree.

      Administrator’s note: Thanks for commenting, Laurence. Sounds like the Whelans have a lot to discuss! Mary, email me via the Contact Us tab if you’d like to get in touch with Laurence privately.

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Mary. Nice to meet Patrick Whelan’s great-niece through our blog! So do you think the Whelans lived at 44 Pembroke Cottages, Donnybrook? That would confirm what’s in the 1911 Census. We were wondering whether the family might have moved from the Donnybrook Pembroke Cottages to the Ringsend Pembroke Cottages between 1911 and 1916, which might explain why the address in the Census is different to what some other sources say? Any clues on that would be welcome.
    Very interesting to hear about his brother Martin, and how sad that they both lost their lives that same year.

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