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Prosperous 1916 Veteran Honoured

Prosperous 1916 Veteran Honoured

Unveiling of commemorative plaque for 1916 veteran Tom Harris in Prosperous on 13 April 2016.

After a mass celebrated by Fr. Bill Kemmy a commemorative plaque to honour Tom Harris, 1916 veteran, was unveiled at No. 8 Prosperous by Eamon O’Cuiv, T.D. The event was followed by a reception in Larry’s Bar. Amhran na bhFiann sung by soprano Sophie O’Carroll ended proceedings.

Tom Harris was born in 1895 in Cloncurry but after the death of his parents moved at a young age with his siblings to live with their aunt Elizabeth Tierney in Prosperous. The Tierneys lived in house number 8 and also owned the pub where Larry’s Bar is now. Tom went to school in Prosperous and it was here through his Irish teacher Sean O’Connor that his interest in the Gaelic League began. In 1913 he joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood and then the Irish Volunteers. He formed a company of Irish Volunteers in the village and remained steadfast to his ideals when the Volunteers split in September 1914.

Tom Harris was one of the ‘Maynooth 15’ who walked to Dublin to take part in the Easter Rising and served in the GPO and Parliament Street. He was wounded during the evacuation of the GPO and spent three months in the military hospital in Dublin Castle before being deported to Frongoch Internment Camp in Wales. He was released on 3 August 1916. Tom took a prominent part in the War of Independence and and was interned in the Rath Camp, and Ballykinlar Camp until December 1921. Jailed again during the Civil War he escaped from Newbridge Barracks in October 1922. He joined Fianna Fail on its inception and was TD for Co. Kildare from 1927-37 and for Carlow-Kildare from 1937-48. Tom Harris died on 18 February 1974.

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