16 September 1916
Mrs. B. O’Mullane, Grattan St., Sligo.
Wake for her the dirge and caoine,
Bravely did she bear her cross,
Whereby, with her heavenly queen
Friends are left to mourn her loss.
Thoughtful mother, wise and good,
Faithful wife to husband kind,
He, now, in his widowerhood,
Grieves with children left behind.
Children for whose every care
All her thoughts were nobly bent
To equip them and prepare
For their worldly betterment.
She now reaps what she has sown
In the realms of bliss above,
Family, friends, now sad and lone,
Wing to her our prayerful love.
Sligo’s loss is heaven’s gain,
All must bow to God’s decree,
Time not wasted should, tis’ plain,
Like our dear departed B.
J. J. McG.
22nd August, 1916.
Mrs Bridget O'Mullane died on 20 August 1916 in Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin where she had been sent for an operation. Her funeral Mass was held in Marlborough Street, Dublin, presumably in the the Pro-
She was the daughter of Michael McCaffrey, Custom House officer, Sligo and she had carried on a drapery business in Sligo for thirty years. Her husband, James, had been a member of the RIC, born in County Clare. He was a pensioner in 1911 and in the 1901 census was not recorded at home. He was obviosly at work. They recorded their surname as Mullane in the 1901 and 1911 census forms.
They had four children, at least two of whom became well known.
Her youngest child, Brigid, (Bride J. P. in the 1901 census and B. Josephine in 1911) helped establish a branch of Cumann na mBan in Sligo in 1918 after meeting Countess Plunkett. She was made Secretary, and by the end of the year she had been elected onto the Cumann na mBan Executive Committee, and made an official organizer. She served a prison sentence in 1919, but continued her activities and established branches throughout the country.
She opposed the Treaty of 1921, and was appointed Director of Propaganda for Republican Sinn Fein in Dublin in early 1922. She acted as a courier during the Civil War was one of those involved in publishing a weekly anti-
Her brother, the eldest child in the family, Michael J., was well known as a writer and teacher. He wrote versions of Irish hero tales for the young as well as books on Irish history for use in schools.
Bridget O'Mullane's witness statement to the Bureau of Military History is here. More about Bridget, including a photograph, on The Cricket Bat That Died For Ireland blog.
The Mullane family in 1901 census; in 1911 census.
The author of this lament (caoine in line 1 is the Irish for lament) is probably James (Seamus) MacGowan who had contributed some poetry to the Sligo Champion in 1913 and was involved with the development of Sinn Féin in Sligo. The lament contains the standard sentiments of such compositions but its concise expression and economy of sentimentality marks it as above the average.
21 October 1916
MULDOWNEY—September 29th, 1916, at her parents' residence, Judith Elizabeth, the eldest and dearly beloved daughter of Patk. Muldowney, ex-
Called thee to their sunny home;
And we know that thou are waiting
For the dear ones here to come.
Sweetest, fairest, brightest flower,
Darling of our heart’s fond love;
Oh, we miss thee every hour
Since God called thee up above.
Death notices inserted in the Sligo Champion at this time did not usually have a verse attached so this one, for 30 year old Judith Muldowney, is unusual. In the 1901 Census Judith was a 15-
Her father was born in Queen's County (Laois) and was recorded as an RIC pensioner in both 1901 and 1911. Her mother was born in County Mayo and was still teaching in 1911. NT stands for National Teacher, a primary school teacher in the National Schools system.
The family was recorded as living in Carrowloughlan in 1901 and Belra in 1911. These are adjacant townlands between Coolaney and Tubbercurry, south Sligo.
Four children had been born to the couple and three, all girls, survived in 1911. A younger sister, Mary, was a student in the Convent of Mercy, Tuam in 1911.