Kevin Doyle Blog

Writing and activism

‘Pat The Picket’ Allen – A True Rebel

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Pat Allen, May Day, Cork 2008

Pat Allen – one of the most formidable protestors in Cork – died earlier this week after a long battle with cancer. I knew Pat well and will miss not seeing him again on any protests in the city. Pat was always indignant about injustice and angry that more people were not out on the streets trying to put an end to what was wrong in society. He believed in taking action and letting people know what was wrong, and what should be done.  Not only a great character but an indignant one too!

One of my abiding memories of Pat was meeting him one day just off Patrick Street in Cork. He had a few posters with him and some paste.  But he complained bitterly to me that all the ESB poles along Patrick Street were already taken up with other posters and there was no room for his.  I pointed out to him that it was a good complaint to to be making and that it was a sign there was a good level of activity going on around the city.  But Pat could be single minded: he wanted to get his posters up and highlight his issue.  Pat had many issues on his mind and he spent a lot of time making it known that as a society we could a lot, lot better.  And he was right about that.

I took this photo of Pat  on the 2008 May Day celebration in Cork. Here Pat is in costume and he looked fabulous that day. He made his point too about the health cutbacks – what a scandal!  An interesting aside on Pat was the fact that his political prowess brought him into contact with the meaner elements of society – the Special Branch in particular.  Back in the 80s and 90s Pat suffered a considerable amount of harassment from the SB.  I think I had his character in mind (or someone like him) when I wrote ‘But Your Mother’.

An amazing person and a tremendous, defiant spirit.  A true rebel.  You will be missed Pat.

 

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Written by Kevin Doyle

November 12, 2010 at 1:29 pm

One Response

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  1. pat the picket – slan a chara – rest in (breach the) peace.

    gav

    November 12, 2010 at 8:31 pm


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