The Park Superintendent at St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin from at least 1889 was the Methodist John Kearney. He kept the park well stocked with waterfowl and, for the most part, his probably seemed an idyllic career. However, during the traumatic days following the 1916 Rising in Dublin, it was a different matter as the Green was frequently caught in cross-fire between the British forces ensconced in the Shelbourne Hotel and the rebels who had headquartered in the College of Surgeons.
Despite the dangers involved James Kearney risked his life, as twice a day he entered the Green to feed the waterfowl. Strange to say, every time he did this the opposing sides in the conflict would cease firing to allow him to do so.
The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which was founded in 1840, awarded Mr Kearney a parchment certificate for bravely feeding the waterfowl while risking his life for his feathered friends.