The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Patrick Halligan


Patrick Halligan was born in Kilbride (Manor Kilbride), Co Wicklow on the 18th of March 1889. He was the third of the nine children of John Halligan and Mary Mahon. John Halligan was a relatively prosperous farmer; according to the 1901 census he had several outbuildings, including a barn, on his property. In 1904 he is recorded in the Leinster Leader as giving a field to hold the Kilbride Sports Day. However by the time of the 1911 census he was living in one room in a tenement in Manor Street, Dublin when he gave his occupation as ‘Evicted Farmer’. His wife, son Patrick, a ‘Corporation Labourer’ and youngest daughter Elizabeth were with him.

The story behind his eviction is not yet clear but in 1906 John Halligan’s land at Golden Hill, Kilbride was put up for auction. He had held the land, c. 63 acres, under “an ordinary tenancy from year to year”, at a yearly rent of £48 from landlord Fletcher Moore. The Dwelling House was thatched, containing parlour, kitchen and two bedrooms. In 1910 and again in 1919 Naas No 2 District Council petitioned the Land Commissioners to consider the cases of some local men, including John Halligan, under the Evicted Tenants Act 1907. This Act was intended, in certain deserving cases, to reinstate evicted tenants or give compensation. It is not known if John Halligan ever benefitted.

Two of Patrick’s younger brothers died in the war in 1915; William at Ypres in February where he was with the Leinster Regiment and Michael at Gallipoli in August where he was with the Australian Infantry Force, having emigrated to Tasmania in 1909.

Patrick Halligan enlisted in the Irish Guards and was in France from September 1915. He was wounded there in October 1916 and was awarded the Victory and Star medals. In October 1918 he was with the Reserve Battalion, and presumably returning to duty from leave in Dublin, he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. He did not survive the sinking nor was his body recovered. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.



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