|  Skip Navigation  |  Sitemap  |  Contact Us  |  Gaeilge  |  Government of Ireland website  

Reinterment of 10 volunteers executed

REINTERMENT OF 10 VOLUNTEERS EXECUTED DURING THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE 1920/1921

1. Summary of State Funeral arrangements

State Funerals will be held on 14th October, 2001 for: -Kevin Barry, Thomas Bryan, Patrick Doyle, Frank Flood, Patrick Moran, Thomas Whelan, Bernard Ryan, Thomas Traynor, Edmond Foley and Patrick Maher each of whom were tried and sentenced to death by Military Court Martial in 1920/1921.

The exhumation process is now complete and following consultations with the families, the following arrangements for a State Funeral with appropriate military honours, on Sunday 14th October, 2001 will apply.

On the morning of the 14th October, the remains will be removed from Mountjoy Prison to the Pro Cathedral for a Solemn Requiem mass at 2pm. They will then be brought to Glasnevin Cemetery where 9 of the volunteers will be reintered. One of the volunteers will then be brought to Co. Limerick for reinterment on 20th October, in accordance with the wishes of his family.

Full details of the arrangements will be published in the news media closer to the date.

2. Who were the 10 Volunteers?

Our thanks to historian Tim Carey who has provided the following information which has been approved by the relatives of the volunteers.

KEVIN BARRY

Executed: 1 November, 1920
Aged 18, from Dublin/Carlow.

Kevin was a member of H Coy, 1st Battalion, Dublin Brigade. He was captured after a raid on a military bread lorry at Monks Bakery, on the junction of Church Street / North King Street on 20 September, 1920 in which three British Soldiers were killed. He was tried for murder and sentenced to death. His youth provoked a huge national outcry. Kevin was a first year student in UCD, studying medicine. He was born at 8 Fleet Street, Dublin, where his father had a dairy business, and he spent most of his life on the family farm in Carlow. Kevin wasthe first person executed during the war of independence.

THOMAS WHELAN

Executed: 14 March, 1921 6.00 a.m.
Aged 22, from Sky Road, Clifden, Galway.

According to his brother Joseph who died this year, Thomas went to Dublin aged 18 looking for work, and after a year or two joined the Volunteers. He had worked with the Midland and Great Western Railway. He lived at Barrow Street, Ringsend. He was arrested in November 1920 and brought to Kilmainham, before being transferred to Mountjoy. He was charged with the shooting of Captain Baggally on Bloody Sunday, 21 November, 1920. Whelan strongly protested his innocence. His mother went to Dublin during the trial which lasted several days, and was present outside Mountjoy on the morning of the execution. He sang The Shawl of Galway Grey for her the night before he went to the gallows.

PATRICK MORAN

Executed: 14 March, 1921 6.00 a.m.
Aged 33, from Crossna, Roscommon.

Patrick was a greengrocers assistant, resident in Blackrock. He held the rank of Captain at the time of his arrest (D Coy, 11th Dublin Battalion), and had previously fought in Jacobs Garrison in Easter Week 1916, under Thomas Mac Donagh. He had also been imprisoned at Knutsford and Wormwood Scrubs. He was rounded up after Bloody Sunday in November 1920 and charged with the murder of Lieutenant Aimes. He strongly protested his innocence. He was sentenced to death by the court martial.

PATRICK DOYLE

Executed: 14 March, 1921, 7.00 a.m.
Aged 29. St. Marys Place, Dublin.

Member of F Company, 1st Battalion.Charged on 24 February 1921 by Court-martial, with high treason/levying war against the King in an attempted ambush at Drumcondra on 21 January 1921. Patrick was a carpenter, married with four children. His brother Seán was fatally wounded at the Custom House 6 weeks later. One of Doyles infant twins died 2 days before his own execution.

BERNARD RYAN

Executed: 14 March 1921, 7.00 a.m.
Aged 20. Dublin.

Charged on 24 February 1921 by Court-martial, with high treason/levying war against the King in an attempted ambush at Drumcondra on 21 January 1921. Bernard was an apprentice tailor, and the only son of an elderly widow, whom he lived with in Royal Canal Terrace, Phibsborough. He was born and bred in Dublin, went to St. Gabriels N.S. in Cowper Street. He became a clerk in a city firm, and was the breadwinner for his family. Described as quiet and practical, he was renowned for his love of the Irish language.

FRANK FLOOD

Executed: 14 March 1921, 8.00 a.m.
Aged 19. Summerhill Parade, Dublin.

Charged on 24 February 1921 by Court-martial, with high treason/levying war against the King in an attempted ambush at Drumcondra on 21 January 1921. Frank was a very close friend of Kevin Barrys, and was a student in UCD which he attended under a scholarship. Prior to that he had been a student in O'Connells School, Dublin. He asked to be buried as close as possible to Kevin. He was a lieutenant in H Coy., First Battalion. He was captured with four others (including Patrick Doyle, Thomas Bryan, and Bernard Ryan), at the scene of an attempted ambush of Auxiliaries at Drumcondra. The Who's Who of the War of Independence cites Flood as the leader of the ambush. His brother Alfred J. Flood became a Deputy Comm. Garda Síochána.

THOMAS BRYAN

Executed: 14 March 1921, 8.00 a.m.
Aged 24. Henrietta Street, Dublin.

Charged on 24 February 1921 by Court-martial, with high treason/levying war against the King in an attempted ambush at Drumcondra on 21 January 1921. Thomas was an electrician and married just four months before his arrest. In 1917, he took part in the hunger strike in Mountjoy in which Thomas Ashe died. After that he spent time in Dundalk Prison.

THOMAS TRAYNOR

Executed: 25 April 1921.
Aged 39. From Tullow/Carlow.

Thomas was a boot maker, married with 10 children; the eldest was 18 years and the youngest 5 months. He had been a member of the Bolands Mill Garrison during Easter Week, 1916, and was later interned in Wakefield Jail. He shared a cell with Seán Mac Eoin. He was also in Frongoch. Traynor was captured during an ambush of Auxiliaries in Brunswick Street, Dublin. He was badly beaten by the Igoe gang before execution. Tried on 5 April 1921 at City Hall. A Song has been written the Ballad of Thomas Traynor in his memory, author unknown.

EDMOND FOLEY

Executed: 07 June 1921, 7.00 a.m.
Aged 24. From Galbally, Co. Limerick.

Foley was arrested at home after being on the run for two weeks following the successful release of Seán Hogan from a train at Knocklong, en route to Cork Jail, on 13 May 1919. Hogan had taken part in the Soloheadbeg ambush. Foley and Patrick Maher were charged with the murder of two RIC men at Knocklong Railway Station, Sgt. Peter Wallace and Const. Enright. Edmond and Patrick spent 21 months in prison and were tried 3 times. On two occasions the juries did not reach verdicts. Finally their cases were handed over to the military to be tried by court martial. Edmond was the son of a farmer, William Foley. His father and mother were outside the gates of Mountjoy on the day of the execution. He had asked his father to secure a plot for him in the burial grounds at Galbally.

PATRICK MAHER

Executed: 7 June 1921. 7.00 a.m.
Aged 32. From Knocklong, Co. Limerick.

See Edmond Foley above. Maher strongly protested his innocence. They both issued a final statement, which included the words Our souls go to God at 7.00 in the morning, and our bodies when Ireland is free, shall go to Galbally.

3. Background

The ten volunteers were all executed by hanging in Mountjoy Prison on four dates between 1 November 1920 and 7 June 1921.

They were buried in adjacent plots in the prison as outlined below:

 
GraveName of VolunteerDate of Execution
Grave 1Kevin Barry1 November 1920
Grave 2Thomas Bryan
Patrick Doyle
Frank Flood
Patrick Moran
Thomas Whelan
Bernard Ryan
14 March 1921
Grave 3Thomas Traynor25 April 1921
Grave 4Edmond Foley
Patrick Maher
7 June 1921

In 1994 the National Graves Association (NGA) made an application for a licence to exhume the ten volunteers.The application was made to the Minister for the Environment, who passed it to the Minister for Justice, as the person with control of the burial site.

The Minister for Justice gave her consent in principle to the proposal subject to the agreementof the next of kin of all the ten volunteers, as it was considered that it would be very difficult to exhume the remains of any of the volunteers without disturbing the remains of the others.This was due to the fact that they were buried almost 80 years ago and the records of the positioning of the graves were not thought to be totally reliable.When the agreement of all the families was not forthcoming the Minister had no option but to withdraw her agreement to the exhumation.

However, during the summer of 1998, it emerged that all of the families involved were prepared to consent to the exhumations.On the 1st November the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform invited the family representatives to a special commemoration ceremony in Mountjoy Prison where he unveiled a plaque at the execution chamber in honour of the volunteers on the presence of the Taoiseach and family representatives.The Minister stated in his speech "the latest information available to the authorities suggests that we may be in a position today, where all the relatives would now wish to transfer the remains of the prisoners to a suitable resting place outside the prison, or would at least acquiesce in that process, in deference to the other families involved".

On the 9 March 2001, the Prison Service formally wrote to each of the known family representatives of the volunteers asking them to give their consent to the exhumation and choice of location for the reinterment. Nine of the families have opted for the specially designated plot in Glasnevin Cemetery while the family of volunteer Patrick Maher have opted for Ballylanders, County Limerick.On 1 May 2001 a function was arranged to bring the families together, (the first time this had been done), to give them an opportunity to visit the graves in Mountjoy before the monument was removed in preparation for the exhumation. The function also involved the symbolic signing of consent forms for the exhumation of the volunteers in the presence of the Taoiseach and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

The family representatives have since met twice with officials from the Department of the Taoiseach to discuss arrangements for the funerals on 27th August and 7th September 2001.

  • Government Press Service Contact Numbers and Email Addresses
Privacy Statement  |  Copyright  |  Freedom of Information  |  Accessibility  |  Preferences  |  Advanced Search  |  Contact Us
Department of the Taoiseach © 2007