The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Patrick Gilligan


Patrick Gilligan was born on the 13th of November 1899 in north city Dublin to Richard Gilligan and Bridget Graydon, née Maguire. Patrick was the youngest of their four children, and Bridget also had two daughters from her first marriage to John Graydon, a Postman, who had died in 1889 aged thirty, while they were living in Wellington Street. She married Richard Gilligan the following year; he was also a Postman, also living in Wellington Street.

Just less than a year after Patrick’s birth Bridget died of Pernicious Anaemia, aged thirty-four. The following year in the census Richard Gilligan was living with his three older children, James, Richard and Mary, step-daughter Sarah Graydon, and his unmarried brother, James, in Buckingham Street. Patrick, aged one, was with a wet nurse in Grenville Street where the family had been living when Patrick was born. In August 1909 Richard died of Septicaemia.

In the 1911 census Patrick Gilligan was one of the 818 boys living in the Artane Industrial School in north Dublin, run by the Christian Brothers. Known for its physical and sexual abuse of the boys, magistrates committed boys there for reasons of destitution, neglect, truancy and minor offenses – it is not known for what reason the orphaned Patrick Gilligan was sent there. In September 1911 his half-sister Sarah Graydon married Edward Logan, while his other half-sister Bridget married John Ryan in 1914.

According to one record Patrick Gilligan joined the Royal Air Force between July and October 1918. Classed as a 2nd Private he was presumably going to England for training and subsequent posting when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and identified by his uncle, Patrick Smith of George’s Place, Temple Street, who has otherwise not been yet identified. Unusually for military personnel drowned in the sinking, a death certificate was issued. He was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin.

Sarah Logan was named as his next-of-kin and his three siblings and two half-sisters were named as his beneficiaries, each receiving 9s 3d.




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