Thomas Hennessy – From Pimlico to the trenches

Name of soldier : Thomas Hennessy

Descendent : Sean Maher

Until it recently closed, the small Post Office on Dublin’s Berkeley Road was overseen by Sean Maher, a friendly figure who always looked out for the many old people and welfare recipients who used his post office.

Berkeley Road is like a street in a quiet country town and yet it connects the city centre and Parnell Square to the North city and Phibsborough. It faces the old Mater Hospital and Eccles Street, on which Leopold Bloom lives in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses. The funeral procession in Ulysses comes up here en route to Glasnevin.

Originally, the Georgian developer Luke Gardiner had planned the road to be an arterial route to his Royal Circus proposed for the junction with Eccles Street. Former President Sean T O’Kelly grew up on the street.

Like many in the north city area, Sean’s grandfather is buried in the British military cemetery on Blackhorse Avenue, just by the Phoenix Park.

Your own name : Sean Maher

Your relative : Grandfather, Thomas Hennessy

Period of activity: World War One

Specific regiment : Royal Army Medical Corps

Areas served in: Belgium and France.

Did you have much contact with him?

No, he died in 1943

What are your most striking memories of him ?

None really. When his former house in Pimlico, Dublin recently came up for sale, there was a proposal by relatives to buy it. But it didn’t happen

Where is he buried?

Grangegorman military cemetery

Do you have any mementos of him?

We have his medals (pictured above, and reverse below)

By an extraordinary coincidence, Thomas Hennessy is buried in Grangegorman military cemetery, just one space away from Peter Hand, the grandfather of Peter Hand, who works at Phibsborough Post Office – the next post office to that on Berkeley Road. Details in the cemetery register below :

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