Royal Irish Academy

A Revolution in Profiles - Co. Offaly

In association with The Royal Irish Academy

James Carroll 1879 ? – 1938

James Carroll was born in Shannon Harbour in or around 1879 and left the locality find work in Dublin. He is believed to have worked for a period as a train driver.

Tracking Carroll in both Shannon Harbour and Dublin is difficult and never many gaps exist in his biography. The 1911 census lists a James Carroll, aged 34, working as an engineer and originally from Kings County as living at Rialto Cottages, Ushers Quay.

Carroll was known to have a deep interest in Irish culture and the GAA. Involved in the Gaelic League he was a fluent Irish speaker. He joined the Irish Volunteers on their formation and was a member of the 4th Battalion of the Dublin Brigade. For various reasons the 4th Battalion attracted a number of Dublin based west Offaly men. 1916 participants James Kenny High Street, Kieran Kenny Banagher and P.J. Doyle, Ferbane were all members of the Battalion as was Joseph Doolan from Killoughey.

Carroll mobilised on at Dolphins Barn on Easter Monday and was among those who occupied the South Dublin Union under Eamonn Ceannt. The Union was a large workhouse facility whose position on the west approaches to the city centre made it strategically important for the rebels. Despite several engagements during the week, Ceannt’s men remained in situ until they received Pearse’s general surrender order on the following Sunday.

In the aftermath of the rising Carroll was imprisoned in Knutsford prison and Frongoch internment camp. Writing from Knutsford fellow prisoner Kieran Kenny  from Banagher reported…

‘I am here for the last fourteen days, saw Jim Carroll he looks alright, but we are not allowed to speak, makes it a bit lonesome.’ (1)

In later years Carroll lived at Fitzgerald Street, Harold’s Cross and was employed at Guinness’s St James Gate. When He passed away in 1938, his next of kin was listed as John Carroll Auburn Terrace, Athlone.

James Carroll’s tricolour trapped coffin was removed from Mercer Hospital in the presence of members of the Old Dublin Brigade, including Belmont 1916 veteran Seamus Kenny, to the church of our lady of refuge in Rathmines before burial at Mount Jerome cemetery.

The Author wishes to acknowledge the existing work of Padraig Heavin and the Lut J.F Burke on James Carroll.

 


Sources:

Military Service Pension Files. James Carroll MSP34REF25599 search online at https://www.militaryarchives.ie/collections/online-collections/military-service-pensions-collection-1916-1923

J.F. Burke. The Midland Tribune 1916-1966 supplement article ‘Shannon Harbour Volunteer in the 4th Battn’ online at https://www.offalyhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Supplement-1966.pdf

Padraig Heavin ‘On the banks of three rivers: Stories from West Offaly’ (Cork) 2015.

Padraig Heavin. ‘West Offaly and the 1916 Rising’ In Offaly Heritage 9 edited by Ciaran Reilly. (Tullamore) 2016.

Dr. Phillip McConway. ‘Offaly’s links to the 1916 Rising’. Online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkEiuHJc8J0

Irish Independent 6 January.

Irish Press. 5 January 1938.

(1) Padraig Heavin. ‘West Offaly and the 1916 Rising’ In Offaly Heritage 9 edited by Ciaran Reilly. (Tullamore) 2016.

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