The home of a man who took part in the 1916 Easter Rising and helped in the formation of the Irish State is due to go to auction this week. James Gleeson (1890-1977) lived in 8 Esmonde St, Gorey for the majority of his adult life and had a plaque erected at the property following his death.
In 1910 James joined the Gorey branch of Sinn Fein and became an active and prominent member of the organisation.
He later joined the Irish Volunteers following at a meeting in the old Gorey town hall in January, 1914 during which Patrick Pearse and Michael Judge spoke to the assembled crowd. In the Easter Rising of 1916, Gleeson and five other Gorey Volunteers (Joe Funge, Sean O’Byrne, Sean Etchingham, Eddie MacDonagh and Sean Doyle) cycled to Enniscorthy on the Tuesday of Easter week (April 25).
James and another local man, Joe Funge, were instructed to cycle back to Gorey on the Thursday, to do some scouting and intelligence work on the whereabouts of local police and any advancing soldiers.
On the Sunday morning (April 30) they witnessed two local men, Seamus Doyle from Gorey and Sean Etchingham from Courtown, pass through the town coming from Enniscorthy in a military escort on their way to Dublin to personally receive the surrender order from Patrick Pearse. As James was still in Gorey upon confirmation of the surrender he evaded capture.
James was instrumental in the reorganisation of Sinn Fein in Gorey in the immediate aftermath of 1916 but joined Fianna Fail in 1927 and remained a prominent local member of the political party for many years. He served on the Gorey Town Council (Town Commissioners) and worked as a saddler and harness maker for many years in no. 8 Lower Esmonde Street, Gorey. He is buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Gorey.
Number 8 Esmonde Street, Gorey goes under the hammer on Thursday, September 29 with an advised minimum value of €80,000 in an online auction organised by Youbid.ie. Inside, the two-bedroom, mid-terrace property spans 45sqm.
The sitting room and kitchen are on the ground floor, with the bedrooms and bathroom on the upper floor. An enclosed yard at the rear of the house provides access to a shared laneway.
Prospective buyers are advised the property, which is conveniently located close to shops, boutiques and places to eat, is being sold subject to a lifelong tenancy.