Faces of the Titanic: Patrick Dooley died on 15th April having come home to visit his dying father
Dooley, a kind and generous man, had visited his home in Limerick and was heading back to Chicago
The described place of death was ‘in mid-ocean, being a passenger on board the Titanic’. The single slip of paper lying behind in some safe place at home, signifying a hoard at the bank branch in Bruff, is a poignant image, somehow conveying again Patrick Dooley’s detachment from money as an end in itself. His father, Edmond, who was illiterate, declared in the application to inherit the money left behind that his son was a 38-year-old bachelor, a labourer, who left only his father and one brother surviving in Ireland.
A number of the family had emigrated from the tiny hamlet of Patrickswell, not to be confused with a town of this name in the same county.
The American Red Cross nonetheless had to step in to assist other relatives left in the lurch by the loss of Mr Dooley. The details vary in this description, but there is little doubt that he is the person concerned since that organisation alphabetised its caseload:
Report of the American Red Cross (Titanic Disaster) 1913:
No. 87. (Irish.) A motorman, 34 years old, was drowned while returning from a visit to his parents in Ireland. A widowed sister and four children were dependent upon him for support, and his brother and wife and two children had also been helped by him.
The appropriation made will be administered by the local charity organisation Society for the benefit of the dependent sister and her family. ($468)
The occupation described here is likely to be most accurate, whereas ‘labourer’ was almost a generic term for ‘Irishman’ when it came to filling out legal papers. As regards age differentials, Patrick Dooley claimed to be 32 when signing aboard the Titanic, while posthumous legal papers put him six years older.
What is known is that Pat Dooley had planned to stay with his brother Richard (37) at East 31st Street, New York. They had only met once during Pat’s near-decade in the USA. Their widowed father, Edmond, still farming, was into his seventies by 1912. It may have been intended that Pat would take over running the farm.
Patrick also had a sister Mary (41), and brothers Michael (39) and John (33). Many of these lives would not have been so damaged had the Cymric sailed as scheduled, four days before the Titanic, on Easter Sunday, 7 April.
Source - Mercier Press - Ebooks from Ireland – Irish author on Kindle, iPad, Nook and all ereading devices
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