Stories Behind The Rising: Tom Clarke Prepares His Return To Dublin

Continuing their series of short articles for the 1916 Societies in the run-up to the Centenary, the Thomas Clarke Society Dungannon tell of Tom Clarke’s plans to return to Dublin, following an accidental shooting where had been shot in the arm.

Thomas Clarke was grateful to the Daly family for their kindness during his recovery in Limerick, the second time the Daly’s had nursed him back to health.

In the summer of 1908 Kathleen was worried about Tom’s health. He had a recurrent stomach problem and his feet were feeling the pressure of standing in the shop all day. Their second son Thomas had been born on the 3rd of March that year, so Kathleen found it hard to help out in the shop.

It was planned that Kathleen’s young sister Annie would come to Dublin and board with them, helping out with the shop. She had been unwell herself though and sadly the news reached them that Annie, aged just 21, had died of Typhoid Fever, a common occurrence at the time due to conditions in Limerick.

Kathleen and Tom went down to the funeral but on their return to Dublin Tom came down with Typhoid. He became seriously ill, spending some time in the Mater Hospital. Kathleen’s brother Ned came to Dublin to run the shop.

Tom was discharged and with members of the Daly family went to Crookhaven, Co. Cork, one of the most southerly points of Ireland near Mizen Head. There he made a full recovery.

Now at the beginning of March 1916, with just 54 days to the Rebellion, Tom made arrangements to return to Dublin. March 3rd would see his son Thomas celebrate his 6th birthday while March 11th would be Tom’s 58th, which he would spend with his family. He was all too aware it might be his last.

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