Patricia Clarke’s Story

August 16, 2011

My name is Patricia Clarke (nee Leech) and my sister is Margaret Kelly (nee Leech). My father was Walter Leech and my mother Mary Henderson.

I was born on the 19th July 1932, my sister was born on 20th May 1930. We lived at 19 North William St with my father, older brother Jim, younger brother Colm and baby sister Deirdre. My mother had just died on the 2nd March of 1941.  She was 32, leaving a young family, my brother Jim was 13, Margie was 10, I was 8 and a half, Colm was 6 and Deirdre was only 1 and a half.

My father came from Charleville Mall, his parents before him had a business bringing turf and wood from the country on the barges along the canals for CIE and other companies. They lived in a cottage on the canal at Ballybough Bridge. My uncle worked on the barges and when they came from the country, they would put the horses in the stables at the cottage on the canal for feeding and resting. When my father got married his parents gave him the house at 19 North William Street as a wedding present. The house was directly opposite St Agatha’s Church on the corner of North William Street and Dunne Street (where the old folks homes were later built).

My mother came from No. 20 Summerhill Parade. My mother’s father, David Henderson was Corporal in the British Army and fought in the Boer War and in India. When he returned to Dublin he opened a shoe repair business in the front room which was converted to a shop, at the family home at No. 20 Summerhill Parade. My Grandmother, (my mother’s mother), came from Arklow and moved to Summerhill Parade when she got married, she lived all her life there and died at a ripe old age of 99 and eight months (she just missed her £100 birthday gift from the Government by 4 months). After my grandfather died Mr Byrne rented the shoe repair shop and carried on his business there until he died years later. Read the rest of this entry »