War of Independence hero was a victim of treachery

The new Patrick White memorial which will be unveiled in Meelick on Sunday 27 AprilONE of the most acrimonious chapters in the history of the War of Independence will be recalled at a special ceremony in Meelick on this Sunday, April 27.

Patrick White, who lived at White’s Cross on the Clare/Limerick border, played a prominent role during Ireland’s fight for independence.

A carpenter by trade, he was captain of the Meelick Company of the IRA’s East Clare brigade.

He was also a prominent athlete and a member of the Meelick hurling team that won the county intermediate championship in 1917. After being arrested by the Black and Tans, he was imprisoned on Spike Island Prison in Cork.

On June 1, 1921, what began as a hurling match between republican prisoners at the prison ended in treachery when Patrick was shot dead by a British soldier.

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During the hurling match, the sliotar went out of play and into an area that was out of bounds for the prisoners. White approached a British soldier who was standing guard and asked him to retrieve the ball. The soldier told White that he could retrieve it himself — and when he did so the soldier shot him dead without warning.

A monument to the War of Independence hero will be unveiled at White’s Cross in Meelick this weekend. Members of the Meelick-Parteen and Cratloe Commemoration Committee, a non–political group who have held a number of commemorations in recent years, have planned a series of events to remember Patrick White this Sunday.

Local county councillor Cathal Crowe who is a member of the Meelick-Parteen and Cratloe Commemoration Committee,  said, “It’s right that the Meelick community should commemorate Captain Patrick White as he epitomised the heroism and self-giving spirit that was so prevalent in our country during the War of Independence.”

” he commemoration will be a non-party political, community-led event. It will be about local people remembering a local historical figure and we hope that many people will join us in remembering him on the day,” said Cllr Crowe.

The day’s ceremonies begin at 1pm in Meelick churchyard when a wreath will be laid on Patrick White’s grave at the Republican Plot following 12 noon Mass. This will be followed at 2 o’clock by the unveiling of a newly commissioned monument at the site of Patrick White’s home at White’s Cross in Meelick.