Innocent Cork civilian shot in 1920 to be remembered

Innocent Cork civilian shot in 1920 to be remembered

SS Peter and Paul's Church, nestled among the narrow lanes off Cork's main St Patrick's Street.

ANNIVERSARY mass will be held in SS Peter and Paul’s Church on Tuesday at 11.30am to mark the centenary of Michael Murphy’s tragic shooting.

The Tower Street native was murdered by suspected British forces outside the same church at 9.10pm on December 8, 1920. Cork was in a lot of turmoil at that time and Michael was an accidental victim of the many reprisal activities in Cork arising from the Kilmichael Ambush.

Michael who worked in the GPO, had no political or military connections and is buried in St Joseph’s Cemetery, Tory Top Road. The 24-year-old was coming out of evening mass and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He was standing on the steps when shots were fired.

He was moved by ambulance to the North Infirmary at 9.25pm where on admission he was found to be dead.

After examination, it was found he was shot through the right-hand side of his chest between the third and fourth rib. It was a single bullet and there was no exit wound.

There was no explanation for his death other than shot by persons unknown.

Mary Galvin-Kiely, who is a distant cousin of Michael’s, is pleased they are honouring his legacy.

“It will be nice to mark the centenary. It was very tough on his family that this innocent man was gunned down and there was no accountability.

“The family suffered a lot of trauma and people didn’t really talk about it, so it skipped a few generations.

“They are hoping that following this anniversary mass, more family members will come out and they can make it an annual event.”

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