Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell Papers
Rags Seeley 1922

By kind permission of Michael Purcell

Rags Seeley.

Many Carlovians will remember Rags Seeley the Barber, on Tullow Street, Carlow. Here is a transcription of a letter he wrote in 1922. From the Pat Purcell Papers. The content is sad to note as it records how people who once served and fought alongside each other were now angrily debating among themselves as the country was just months away from plunging into a devastating Civil War.

1 College Street,

29th March 1922

A certain statement was made by some of the speakers at the pro-Treaty public meeting held in Carlow on last St. Patrick's Day. I am "the youth" one of the speakers referred to and I emphatically deny the statement that I recognised "a British court". I wish to state that at least one of those speakers on the platform, if not more, have in the past recognised a British court. I am prepared to prove this. I can furnish any of my accusers with the Dublin Castle report of my trial.

The following is a copy of same.

"Thomas Seeley of College Street, Carlow sentenced to 18 months hard labour. He refused to recognise the court but he pleaded guilty to having in his possession, a revolver and 12 rounds of ammunition - one bullet was flatnosed".
Is mise le meas,
Thomas Seeley.

(mise le meas English translation: With regards)

Note from Michael Purcell 2009. In 1990 Carlow County Heritage Society carried out a refurbishment of the Presentation Convent on Tullow Street. During this work the late Fabian Townsend found a number of items including a revolver and a leather bandolier hidden in a concealed fireplace in one of the nun's bedrooms. A note attached stated the items belonged to Tom Seeley. On the bandolier was stamped "Carlow Battalion IRA" inscribed alongside was my uncle's name, Edward Snoddy. (he was shot dead on 5th January 1923). In 1997 I presented the bandolier to Tom Seeley's grandson, Fintan Seeley, it now hangs in his pub "The Porterhouse" in New Jersey, USA. Shortly after, news was published of the find, two detectives from Carlow Garda Station contacted me and confiscated the revolver.

The above is a true and accurate transcript of the original document.

Transcribed by Michael Purcell 2009.

See also Death of Noted Gael.

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