Daly, Patrick Thomas (1870–1943), republican and trade unionist, was born 2 December 1870 in Cumberland St., Dublin, son of John Daly, tailor, and Mary Daly (née Murphy). After attending a local national school he served an apprenticeship as a compositor. In 1892 he began working in the printing office of the Irish Daily Independent and became a member of the Dublin Typographical Provident Society. A regular attendant at Bodenstown demonstrations and other republican commemorative events, by 1897 he had been sworn into the IRB, probably by F. J. Allan (qv). During 1897 he founded the Robert Emmet 1798 Centenary club in Dublin and kept it in existence long after the centenary year had passed so it could be used as recruiting ground for the IRB. He was also a supporter of the Irish Socialist Republican Party, and in late 1898 began working voluntarily as a printer for the Workers’ Republic, founded by James Connolly (qv). By 1901 he was secretary of the Wolfe Tone Memorial Committee (WTMC) and a leading figure in the Dublin IRB. In January 1902 he was appointed to the Dublin Trades Council (DTC) as delegate for the Dublin Typographical Provident Society. In the DTC, apart from defending the interests of the printing trade, he also demanded better working conditions for the corporation's labourers and the city draper's assistants, and denounced the indifference of Dublin slum landlords towards their tenants.
At the Irish Trade Union Congress (ITUC) of 1902 and 1903, he won support for his call to establish an Irish labour party, though no concrete steps were taken. During 1902 he was appointed the chief organiser of Arthur Griffith's (qv) Cumann na nGaedheal and began touring the country frequently in that capacity. In September 1903 he was elected to Dublin city council, nominally as a representative of Griffith's National Council but essentially as a labour activist, with full IRB support. He was elected vice-president of DTC in 1904 and president in 1905, and that year became a manager with An Cló Cumann and was elected to the Sinn Féin executive. He continued to represent labour and Sinn Féin interests in Dublin city hall until 1909 and regularly imported copies of Connolly's American socialist publication, the Harp, into Ireland. During 1908 he led a carters’ strike in Dublin, played a key role in establishing the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU), and campaigned for Sinn Féin in an important Leitrim North by-election.
Since late 1902 he had also been secretary of the IRB supreme council. He played a leading role in organising the IRB-patronised Robert Emmet (qv) centenary celebrations in Dublin (March 1903). During 1902–8 he travelled frequently throughout Munster, Ulster, and Scotland as an IRB organiser, chaired numerous IRB conventions in Ulster and at the WTMC rooms in the Foresters’ Hall, 41 Rutland Square (Parnell Square), Dublin, and represented the IRB in at least two Clan na Gael conventions held in the USA. The demands of his dual commitment to the labour movement and the IRB, however, soon proved too strenuous. In 1909, partly due to a short-term drinking problem, he lost his job in the printing business, fell badly into debt, and lost his seat in the corporation elections because his candidacy failed to meet residential requirements. To avoid falling into destitution, he misappropriated £300 of IRB funds, an action that caused him to be expelled from the supreme council and the IRB in the spring of 1910.
He remained influential, however, in Dublin labour and municipal politics. As a representative of the Dublin Corporation Paviours Society, he attended the July 1910 meeting of the ITUC and was elected its secretary, a position he held until 1918. A close associate of James Larkin (qv) since 1907, he also began acting as an organiser for the ITGWU in Cork, Belfast, and Wexford. In February 1911, after organising resistance among the locked-out workers at Pierce's foundry in Wexford, he was prosecuted for incitement to riot and was imprisoned for several weeks in Waterford jail. On the outbreak of the 1913 lockout in Dublin, he was arrested with other trade unionists and charged with seditious libel and conspiracy. On release, he travelled to London to secure strike funds from the British TUC. In October 1914, on Larkin's leaving for the US, Daly was nominated to serve as general secretary of the ITGWU in his absence, but he chose to step down in favour of Connolly. In 1915 he was appointed chairman of the Grangegorman Mental Hospital committee, a position he held for twenty-seven years. Having been narrowly defeated in the 1914 city council elections as a candidate of the Dublin Labour Party, he won a council seat in the January 1915 elections, representing North Dock ward. Although uninvolved in the 1916 rising, he was arrested afterwards owing to his republican and socialist sympathies. He was detained in Frongoch camp and subsequently Reading jail, and was released in January 1917. In March 1918 he lost an election for the presidency of the DTC and was appointed its secretary instead. That July he was defeated narrowly by William O'Brien (qv) in an election for the position of secretary of the ITUC. After 1918, as secretary of the DTC and with the support of Delia Larkin (qv), he initiated an attack upon the policy of the leaders of the ITGWU, helping to cause a significant split within the labour movement.
Throughout the 1920s the DTC, under Daly's influence, represented itself as Larkinite and communistic and fought against the official Labour Party and the ITUC grouping under William O'Brien. Daly continued to represent labour interests in Dublin city hall until 1924, and contested a Dublin seat unsuccessfully in the 1923 general election as a Trades Council candidate. His principal achievement in Dublin city hall was to get a fair wages clause inserted into all corporation labour contracts. To undermine Daly's power, in 1924 O'Brien revealed to the public that he had misappropriated IRB funds in the past, prompting Daly to sue the ITUC for libel. Daly eventually lost his case and was forced to serve one month's imprisonment in May 1926 due to his inability to pay legal costs. In 1929 the labour movement effectively reunited under a leadership sympathetic to Daly, who regained the post of secretary of the DTC in the same year. He was involved in the republican, anti-fascist campaigns of the mid 1930s and supported the 1937 builders’ strike. In April 1939 he chaired an ITUC conference in Waterford, set up to examine proposals for the rationalisation of the trade union movement. He died 20 November 1943 while leaving the offices of the DTC. He married c.1895, and had several children.