by jdurney on June 8, 2011

Leinster Leader September 2, 1972


The soldierly figure of Mr Peter Lawlor of Pacelli Road, Naas, erect to the last despite his 79 years is gone from the scene. He died last week at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Athy. His career was an unusually colourful and varied one with long service at home and overseas. Native of Halverstown, Naas, he was a former O.C. Cavalry Corps at Plunkett Barracks, Curragh Camp. He was to retain a link with the Army stretching over four decades. From O.C. in 1924 to the time when he retired from his job at the cavalry workshops, 43 years later, he was held in deservedly high esteem. Peter fought in the Dardanelles with the 1st Australians (the famous Dinkums) in the first World War and joined Michael Collins on his return to Ireland. He got his commission as Commandant in 1922.
His career as a soldier also embraced service with Franco’s forces in the Spanish Civil War as an officer. A much-travelled man, he worked in various parts of Canada and in eleven of the States of America. He went to New Zealand in 1911 and returned to Ireland after World War I. He also served with the Old I.R.A. for a period.
The date of his death coincided with the 50th anniversary of the death of Michael Collins. Peter was extremely proud of the fact that it was Collins who bestowed on him the insignia of rank as Commandant in the National Army. He was a loyal supporter of the Labour Party.
Mr. Lawler is survived by his wife, Mrs. Barbara Lawler, who has been a patient at the County Hospital for some time, son, Frank and daughter, Jean who is a public health nurse in Peckham, London. Military honours were accorded at the funeral to St. Corban’s Cemetery, Naas, following Requiem Maas on Thursday. The attendance included officers of the Cavalry Corps and many former comrades, as well as a big representation of the townspeople. Rev. Fr. Ramsbottom, C.C., officiated at the graveside. With him while receiving the remains on Wednesday evening were Very Rev. J. McDonald, P.P., Kill, and Rev. D. Hogan, C.C., Kill.

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