Freedom fighter’s nephew enjoyed a long and happy life

Special day: Dan Joe O’Connor with his family at his 100th birthday celebration in St Joseph’s Nursing Home, Kenmare

JUST weeks after family and friends gathered to celebrate his landmark 100th birthday, popular Dan Joe O’Connor from Rathmore has passed away.

A nephew of freedom fighter Captain Patrick O’Connor, who lost his life during the 1916 Rising and about whom the hit musical drama, Patrick, was written, Dan Joe passed away in the care of the nurses and staff of St Joseph’s Nursing Home, Kenmare on Wednesday.

He worked hard throughout his long life, as a farmer and fisherman, and he had a real love of the land and of the community in which he lived.

Dan Joe with his beloved wife Rita at his 100th birthday get-together

Not surprisingly, Dan Joe also had a huge interest in Irish history and politics and he has read extensively about all aspects of the Rising. He attended and thoroughly enjoyed the musical drama about his nephew at the INEC and he was also the guest of honour when a memorial plaque was unveiled to Captain O’Connor at Rathmore Railway Station.

It was there in 1916 that a young Patrick O’Connor boarded the train for Dublin for the ill-fated journey to the GPO which was to cost him his life.

Dan Joe and his wife, Rita, were married in 1957 and they have a son, Tom, and six grandchildren.

A few short weeks ago Dan Joe’s relatives and friends gathered in St Joseph’s Nursing Home, Kenmare for his 100th birthday and he thoroughly enjoyed the sing-song and the wonderful atmosphere that prevailed all afternoon.

Survived by his beloved wife, Rita, son, Tom, daughter-in-law Eileen, grandchildren, other relatives and many lifelong friends, Dan Joe will be reposing at O’Keeffe’s Funeral Home, Rathmore this Thursday from 6.00pm to 8.00pm followed by removal to St Joseph’s Church, Rathmore. Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Friday at 11.00am with burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

The Captain Patrick O’Connor Fianna Fail Cumann – named after Dan Joe’s uncle – will form a guard of honour at the removal service this Thursday night.

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