Patricia McCluskey

Patricia McCluskey (1914-2010)

Born in Portadown to a local draper, Patricia McShane went to Scotland to train as a home economics teacher after leaving school. She focused on working with disadvantaged children. When the Second World War started, she helped to evacuate children to rural areas.

On a visit home, she met and later married Conn McCluskey. After their marriage, they lived in Keady and then moved to Dungannon, where Conn worked as a doctor. Patricia raised three daughters and then became heavily involved in local politics.  As a result of her work with the Homeless Citizens League, the Campaign for Social Justice and her work as a councillor on Dungannon Urban Council, where she campaigned for more than a decade against discrimination in housing and jobs, she was one of the most significant activists in the north during the 1960s and early 1970s.

The McCluskeys organised the Unity Convention in Mid-Ulster which resulted in Bernadette Devlin being selected as the single anti-unionist candidate. Patricia McCluskey was not active during the following years of conflict in Northern Ireland and following retirement, the couple moved south and settled in Dublin.