National Army Soldier Patrick O’Rourke
National Army Soldier Patrick O’Rourke (aged 23) of Lisryan near Granard, Co. Longford (Carrigaphooca Bridge near Macroom)
Date of death: 16 Sept. 1922
Sources: Death Certificate (Slieveragh District, Union of Macroom), 16 Sept. 1922; CE, 18, 22 Sept. 1922; FJ, 18, 19, 20, 21 Sept. 1922; Evening Herald, 18, 20 Sept. 1922; Belfast Newsletter, 18 Sept. 1922; Derry Journal, 20 Sept. 1922; II, 21 Sept. 1922; SS, 23 Sept. 1922; Kilkenny People, 23 Sept. 1922; Longford Leader, 23 Sept. 1922; Connaught Telegraph, 23 Sept. 1922; Connacht Tribune, 23 Sept. 1922; Ulster Herald, 23 Sept. 1922; Fermanagh Herald, 23 Sept. 1922; Strabane Chronicle, 23 Sept. 1922; FSS Cork Civil War Deaths; MSPC/2D438 (Military Archives); Boyne (2015), 185-86; Keane (2017), 99-101, 306, 394; http://www.irishmedals.ie/National-Army-Killed.php (accessed 7 July 2017); Carrigaphooca Bridge Memorial.
Note: Six soldiers of the National Army including Patrick O’Rourke were killed on the spot and a seventh was mortally wounded when a powerful road mine exploded as they were in the process of trying to disable and remove it a short distance from Carrigaphooca Bridge near Macroom on Saturday, 16 September 1922. According to reports in the Cork Examiner on 18 September, ‘the dead bodies of four of the party, terribly disfigured and mangled almost beyond recognition, were found some distance away; two others were discovered in a dying condition, and one of these, a young man named [Thomas] Manning of Castle Street, Macroom, died soon after. There was shortly after[wards] a sixth death, and the seventh, who was the only survivor, was given all the immediate attention possible.’ The mine was an intentionally murderous device: ‘Underneath it, and attached to it, there was a Mills bomb from which the pin had been extracted, and the whole was so arranged that the mine was resting on a detonator. Only the weight of the mine in position kept it from exploding’ until the mine was lifted, at which point the Mills bomb detonated and ‘almost simultaneously the mine went off with a terrific explosion, causing fearful havoc’. See CE, 18 Sept. 1922. See also http://www.irishmedals.ie/National-Army-Killed.php (accessed 7 July 2017).
Private Patrick O’Rourke was a member of the First Midland Division of the National Army under the command of Colonel Padraig Woods. In civilian life he had been employed as a labourer. He had also been in receipt of a pension as a veteran of the British army. His funeral took place from Portobello Barracks in Dublin on 19 September 1922, when he was interred in the National Army Plot in Glasnevin Cemetery. His mother Mary O’Rourke was awarded a gratuity of £50 in 1924 in consideration of her son Patrick’s death at Carrigaphooca Bridge near Macroom. Her numerous pleas for an additional sum were all rejected. She had three other children—two sons and a daughter. While the daughter (aged 13 in 1924) was not in employment, one of her two surviving sons was a working labourer (aged 18) and the other was a National Army soldier (aged 27) like his deceased brother. See MSPC/2D438 (Military Archives).