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Mr. Thomas Fitzpatrick

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The Irish Times obituary, 20 July 1912

Mr. Thomas FitzpatrickEdit

We regret to announce the death, after a long and painful illness, of Mr. Thomas Fitzpatrick, editor and proprietor of The Lepracaun, which too[k] place on Thursday at 10 Cabra road, Dublin. Born in Cork, 52 years ago, Mr. Fitzpatrick very early in life began his career as an artist. Miniature painting and illuminating first claimed his devotion, and in these branches of art he achieved considerable success. He also devoted some time to oil-painting; but it was in the black and white field that he won his greatest distinction. He had a keen gift of political satire, and his ability was quickly recognised by managers of newspapers publishing cartoons. He had the gift of hitting off a faithful likeness, and all the leaders in modern Irish national and municipal politics served the purpose of his clever and genial pencil. He was endowed to an exceptional degree with the Celtic sense of humour, and the ease with which he used this asset in his pictorial art was remarkable. His earlier work in Dublin was in association with the National Press newspaper, which was started as an anti-Parnellite organ at the time of the Nationalist split in the late eighties. On the subsequent amalgamation of that paper with the Freeman's Journal he was transferred as a cartoonist to Prince's street, and his cartoons were quite a feature of the political controversies of the period. Later than that he did work on the Daily Nation, and finally he started The Lepracaun, a clever little monthly publication which has won for itself a place in our island life rarely, if ever, won by a publication of the kind in Ireland. In this paper he cartooned all political parties impartially, and some of his drawings were clever and amusing in the extreme. Mr. Fitzpatrick's skill as a draughstman was unrivalled, and when the humour seized him he was a rapid worker. During his long illness the cartoons of The Lepracaun have been drawn chiefly by Mr. John F. O'Hea, a veteran who preceded Mr. Fitzpatrick in black and white work in Dublin. As a member of the Institute of Journalists, Mr. Fitzpatrick put some of his best work into the menu cards for the annual dinner of his district during the last fourteen or fifteen years, and the kindly caricatures of his journalistic colleagues which adorn the walls of the Institute headquarters are among the best things he produced. There was no malice in his pencil. His genial disposition did not lend itself to an unkind cut. His caricatures might at times have been severe, but it left no sting. He made many friends, and but for the merciful drawback of a retiring disposition, they might have been a host. He did some of his best work in the cause of charity, and many an entertainment given in a good cause has been brightened by the humorous programme or "bill of fare" from the cartoonist's pencil.

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