Friday, December 20, 2013
Funeral Card Friday/ Thomas Whelan 1921 Dublin
The woman pictured above is Mrs. Whelan/Wheelan of Clifden, County Galway in the Provence of Connaught. Dressed in the typical costume of a country woman, Mrs. Whelan had probably never been to Dublin before in her life. She was only there in 1921 to attend the trial of her 22 year old son Thomas, accused of killing Capt. Baggallay, a British soldier.
In spite of the appearance at trial of five witnesses, including the parish priest, all of whom swore Thomas was at Mass at the time of Baggallay's death, he was found guilty and sentenced to hang. His mother was outside Mountjoy Prison when he died, part of an enormous crowd that began to gather before dawn. As the prison bell tolled at 6 a.m. Mrs. Whelan knew her son was gone. To view a photo of Thomas the day before his execution, look here
The woman on the right is Maude Gonne MacBride, actress and widow of Major John MacBride who was himself executed by the British for his part in the 1916 Easter Rising.