Monday, November 05, 2012

How about including Birmingham’s first Irish born MP on the John F Kennedy memorial?

How about including Birmingham’s first Irish born MP on the John F Kennedy memorial?

With the anger still raging over the inclusion of by the Birmingham Labour administration the former Labour Councillor Mike Nangle in the forthcoming John F Kennedy memorial against the wishes of the Birmingham Irish Community ( ), it is worth considering who else could have been included in this mural. Can I point out that my view, like the majority of the Birmingham Irish community is that is that NO new figures should have been included in the mural. BUT let’s suppose that one new figure was going to be included, then how the following: 

  • Birmingham’s first Irish-born Catholic MP 
  • An MP who came from a poverty stricken background. Born in a tiny hamlet in County Sligo 
  • Was President of Aston Villa football club and President of the Ideal Benefit Society that helped many working class Brummies buy their first homes 
  • Funded part of the rebuilding of St Dunstan’s Roman Catholic church in Kings Heath 

Some of you may think that Birmingham’s first Irish-born MP was Clare Short. Nope. (Clare Short was born in Birmingham, but had parents from Northern Ireland) Step forward Sir Patrick Hannon, MP for Moseley from 1921 to 1950, Conservative Unionist.

How about the Birmingham Labour administration include Sir Patrick Hannon in the John F Kennedy memorial for political balance?

To give some background on Sir Patrick Hannon, I will reproduce his orbitory from the Catholic Herald on 18th January 1963

“Sir Patrick Hannon dies at 92

ARCHRISHOP HEENAN of Liverpool and Bishop Rudderham of Clifton were represented at the funeral on Monday of Sir Patrick Hannon, M.P. for the Moseley Division of Birmingham from 1921 to 1950 and Hon. Treasurer of the Apostleship of the Sea since 1942.

Sir Patrick died last week (Thursday), aged 92. The Requiem Mass on Monday was said at the Holy Name Church, Denham, Bucks., by Fr. Richard Moylan, and representatives of several leading business houses with which Sir Patrick was connected attended.

Sir Patrick was formerly President of the National Union of Manufacturers, Vice-President of the Federation of British Industries and Director of the British Commonwealth Union.

He was born in Taverane, a hamlet in the parish of Cloonloo, Co. Sligo.

A.D. writes: Sir Patrick learned early the need to acquire knowledge, as a means to economic release from subjection to poverty. He delighted in learning. Regularly in boyhood he tramped five miles over the Curlew Mountains to Deer Park School to receive instruction in physics. He read in every subject. His poems and essays were printed in numerous papers in Ireland.

He joined the staff of the Great Western Railway in 1887. Sir Horace Plunkett engaged him in the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society in 1897. and through Plunkett's advice he was appointed adviser to the South African government on agricultural co-operation, 1905-1909. This was the turnstile in his career.

From 1910-1914 he was VicePresident of the Tariff Reform League: from 1911-1918 he was General Secretary of the Navy League. He was the administrative initiator of the Imperial Pioneers (later the British Commonwealth Union). whose Secretary General he was from 1918-1921 when he was elected Unionist M.P. for the Moseley Division of Birmingham. He left the Commons undefeated in 1950.

His astonishing success in politics was equalled in big business. Sheer intellectual prowess applied with unbroken will won him world-wide influence and prestige. He was the most generous of men, an imperturbable companion, always warmhearted and witty.

He was in constant touch with all developments of the Apostleship of the Sea; on the day after his death the National Chaplain received a letter from him on Apostleship of the Sea affairs.”


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