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Thomas Bannon

Street: 9 Ward's Terrace
Town/Village: Longford
Civil Parish: Templemichael
Catholic Parish: Templemichael
Alternative Address: Fee's Terrace, Longford; Athlone
Census 1901: Resident at Fee's Terrace
Census 1911: Resident at Ward's Terrace
Regiment/Unit: Irish Volunteers
Regiment Number:
Date of Death: 17-05-1936
Cause: Natural causes, Richmond Hospital
Memorial: Ballymacormack Cemetery, Longford

Thomas Bannon (Tomás Ó Banáin) was born in Anker's Bower (St Mary’s Parish), Athlone on or around the 9 December 1881; his father, Patrick was a stone mason.

He began his teaching career as a monitor in St Michael’s Boys’ National School, Longford. He then went to St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra in September 1901 to embark on a two-year training course. While a student, Bannon became involved in the Celtic Literary Society. He later taught at Killashee National School. 

Bannon had a deep interest in the Irish language and was a founder member of the first Gaelic League branch in Longford town in 1900. He was also a member of the Irish Volunteers in Longford town. Michael Heslin, who was Adjudant of the Longford Brigade and an intelligence officer mentions Thomas's significance in the brigade, partcularly in terms of decyphering messages issued by the Crown forces. Please click here to read Heslin's Witness Statement, the reference to Thomas is on Page 2. Dr. Bridget Lyons Thornton also mentions Tom in her Witness Statement.

On Tuesday, 25 April 1916, he accompanied Frank McGuinness and his niece Brigid Lyons to Dublin to take part in the Rising. Bannon was attached to the Four Courts garrison for the rest of the Rising. He returned to Longford but was later arrested and briefly interned in Richmond Barracks.

Tom Bannon was active during the War of Independence and interned at Ballykinlar, Co. Down. Later, he helped to found the Feis Naoimh Mel. He died in 1936.

Parents Names: Son of Patrick Bannon and Anna Maria (née Flood), Ward's Terrace.
Notes: Many thanks to Louise Farrell for her assistance on this, particularly in highlighting Michael Heslin's witness statement.

Link to Civil Record of Birth (please ensure web address ends in .pdf); link to Civil Record of Death (please ensure web address ends in .PDF); notice of death, Irish Independent 19 May 1936; Funeral of Longford Gael, Irish Independent 21 May 1936; obituary,&a

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