Columbine

Columbine

by

Dave Cullen

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Columbine can help.

Patrick Ireland Character Analysis

A survivor of the Columbine attack who rose to national attention after dropping, bloodied and wounded, from the library window on to the roof of a SWAT vehicle. After a lengthy recovery from a debilitating brain injury that robbed him briefly of both language and motor function, Patrick went on to become valedictorian of his class at Columbine and an active, vocal member of the community of Columbine survivors.
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Patrick Ireland Character Timeline in Columbine

The timeline below shows where the character Patrick Ireland appears in Columbine. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Two Columbines
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
As prom approaches, many students have struggled to find dates—one of them is Patrick Ireland, who is in love with his best friend Laura. An athlete who plays basketball,... (full context)
Chapter 10: Judgment
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Patrick Ireland heads to the library as lunch begins, planning on finishing his homework during the... (full context)
Chapter 16:  The Boy in the Window
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Patrick Ireland’s parents know that he always goes off-campus for lunch, and they approach the Columbine... (full context)
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Media: Misinformation and Sensationalism Theme Icon
...the ground, and they drive their truck toward the window. SWAT officers call up to Patrick Ireland, but he is confused. He is dizzy, his vision is limited, and he is... (full context)
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Failure Theme Icon
Media: Misinformation and Sensationalism Theme Icon
John and Kathy Ireland receive a call telling them that Patrick—whose fall out the window they did not see—has been taken to St. Anthony’s hospital. They... (full context)
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Failure Theme Icon
As one SWAT team rescued Patrick from the library, another rescued the sixty students “barricaded” inside the choir room. Sixty more... (full context)
Chapter 28: Media Crime
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Patrick Ireland’s doctors focus on helping him regain brain function, and do not bother to operate... (full context)
Chapter 34: Picture-Perfect Marsupials
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Failure Theme Icon
Patrick Ireland grows frustrated by his attempts to talk again. The language centers of his brain... (full context)
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Patrick understands that he has been shot, but doesn’t yet realize “the scale of the massacre.”... (full context)
Chapter 41: The Parents Group
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Patrick Ireland struggles to regain movement of his legs. He is rebuilding the frayed signals in... (full context)
Chapter 43: Who Owns the Tragedy
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Kathy Ireland, Patrick Ireland’s mother, is full of rage toward the killers. Patrick urges her to forgive them,... (full context)
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Media: Misinformation and Sensationalism Theme Icon
...the students before raising the flags from half-mast for the first time since April 20th. Patrick Ireland leads the teeming crowd of students back into their school. (full context)
Chapter 45: Aftershocks
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Patrick Ireland does well in school and keeps his status as valedictorian in sight. However, he... (full context)
Chapter 47: Lawsuits
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
On May 20th, Patrick Ireland graduates as valedictorian of his class, and delivers a hope-filled valedictory address in which... (full context)
Chapter 49: Ready To Be Done
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Patrick Ireland attends Colorado State University, and graduates magna cum laude with a degree in business.... (full context)
Chapter 51: Two Hurdles
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Patrick Ireland still sees many of his friends from high school, but they do not really... (full context)
Chapter 53: At the Broken Places
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Religion: Escapism, Evangelism, Opportunism Theme Icon
...ceremony, Bill Clinton delivers an address paying homage to the victims and their “magnificent” families. Patrick Ireland marries his college sweetheart. Mr. D and Patrick’s doctors from Craig Hospital are in... (full context)
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Patrick Ireland speaks at the dedication of the Columbine memorial, and thirteen doves are released into... (full context)