Patrick Filan Clooney was born in ballybricken on 5th of May 1840 to John Clooney and Catherine Phelan. Ballybricken was a relatively poor area of Waterford city. It lies just outside the city wall and was a busy market area. The old city Gaol was located there the remains of which can still be seen today. Clooney wrote to the local newspapers to tell of his adventures in Italy and seems to be fairly well educated. Whilst in Italy he penned a letter to the local paper the Citizen and commercial recorder and dated the ” The citadel Spoleto, August 26th” he announced
“despite the English proclamation , the Irish Brigade is an accomplished fact”
The proclamation Clooney refered to was the 1830s Foreign Enlistment Act prohibited the enlistment on British soil of soldiers for duty in foreign land. This act lead to a lot of the volunteers traveling to Italy in small groups posing as pilgrims.
BallyBricken in the 19th century. Courtesy of the national library