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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

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28‭ ‬February‭ ‬1921:‭ ‬Six IRA men were executed in Victoria Barracks,‭ ‬Cork on this day.‭ ‬The men were shot by firing squad.‭ ‬They were Sean Allen,‭ ‬Timothy McCarthy,‭ ‬Thomas O’Brien,‭ ‬Daniel O’Callaghan,‭ ‬John Lyons and Patrick O’Mahony.‭ ‬All bar the first‭ (‬Sean Allen from Tipperary‭) ‬had been captured at Dripsey,‭ ‬outside Cork City on‭ ‬28‭ ‬January.‭ ‬As they laid in wait to ambush a British convoy the men were surrounded and captured by the‭ ‬1st Manchester Regiment.‭  ‬A local Loyalist Mrs Lindsay had given their position away.‭ ‬The IRA seized her and‭ ‬James Clarke‭ (‬her Chauffer‭) ‬as hostages to hold them against the execution of the men.‭ ‬The local British Commander,‭ ‬General Strickland,‭ ‬was informed by letter of the consequences.‭ ‬The letter he received read:

To General Strickland‭…
We are holding Mrs Mary Lindsay and her Chauffeur,‭ ‬James Clarke as hostages.‭ ‬They have been convicted of spying and are under sentence of death.‭ ‬If the five of our men taken at Dripsey are executed on Monday morning as announced by your office,‭ ‬the two hostages will be shot.

Irish Republican Army

Strickland and General‭ ‬Macready,‭ ‬the British Commander in Ireland,‭ ‬dismissed the idea that the threat was real.‭ ‬They did not believe that the Cork IRA would push it that far.‭ ‬Both men doubted that the IRA would kill a woman in cold blood and decided that the sentences should be carried out.

‭ ‬On the morning of the executions a large crowd gathered outside and prayed for the souls of the dead men who were executed in batches.‭ ‬That night the Cork IRA launched a number of attacks against British forces at different locations throughout the City.‭ ‬Six British soldiers were killed and four were seriously wounded.‭

Two other men captured at Dripsey were still detained in military custody:‭ ‬Captain James Barrett and Volunteer Denis Murphy.‭ ‬Barrett died in captivity on‭ ‬22‭ ‬March‭ ‬1921.‭ ‬Murphy stood trial in Victoria Barracks on‭ ‬9‭ ‬March,‭ ‬he was found guilty and sentenced to death but this sentence was later commuted to one of‭ ‬25‭ ‬years‭' ‬imprisonment.

Following the trial of Volunteer Denis Murphy the Cork IRA executed Mrs.‭ ‬Lindsay and James Clarke.