Patrick O'Meara

 

1876 Jul 19. Born Garryvicleheen , which is the outskirts of Thurles. Turtulla Bridge, where he was sitting when kidnapped, is close to this

 

1901 census in Church Lane , Thurles

 

Enlisted in Leinster Regt, latered transferred to Somerset Light Infantry

1919 Apr 4. Discharged medically unfit.

 

1921 Mar 7 Shot by IRA together with James Maher

 

IRA Witness Statement Two natives of the town and both ex-British soldiers James Maher ("Rockam") and Patrick Meara ("Swordy") had been under observation by the Volunteers. Both men were intimate pals and had been mixing a great deal with the R.I.C. and Black and Tans. They had been seen,too hanging around country roads in the vicinity of houses where "wanted" men were fed and sheltered. A number of raids carried out in the town and district by the R.I.C. were attributed to information supplied by these two men.On the day of Barry Ryan's arrest, they met him as he was leaving a house in the town and saw him enter another house nearby.They went a way, but shortly afterwards a force of R.I.C. came along and halted a short distance from where Ryan was visiting. He was not aware of their presence as he emerged into the Street and was heldup and taken prisoner .He had nothing to incriminate him in his possession, but he was sent to an internment camp on Spike Island. .I cannot say now whether it was the arrest of Jerry Ryan or the shooting of Tommy Kelly that led the Battalion Council of the 1st Battalion to ask for permission to execute as spies Maher and O'Meara.

I gave authority for their execution. It may have been on 1st March 1921, that the two of them, while sitting on Turtulla Bridge, were captured by Mick Small and members of the brigade column. They were taken across the fields to Ballytarsna where they were informed by Small that they were about to be shot as spies and if they wished to have spiritual attention it would be forthcoming. Meara did not answer, but Maher became very abusive. Both men were then told to go on their knees and say their prayers. Neither of them did so, and Small then ordered the firing party to proceed with the execution. From what I was told afterwards, Meara was silent as he faced the firing squad, The usual notices were pinned to the bodies of both men announcing that they had been executed as spies by the I.R.A.

Executed as spies by IRA