East Cork church bells to ring today for the men of Clonmult

East Cork church bells to ring today for the men of Clonmult

The fourteen members of the flying column who lost their lives as a result of the Battle of Clonmult.. Front, from left: Donal Dennehy, Liam Ahern, David Desmond and Maurice Moore*. Middle, from left: James Glavin, John Joe Joyce, James Ahern and Michael Desmond. Back, from left: Richard Hegarty, Jeremiah Ahern, Christopher O’Sullivan, Joseph Morrissey, Michael Hallahan, and Patrick O’Sullivan*.
*Captured at Clonmult and later executed after a trial by Military Court. This composite photograph was created in 1921, very soon after the battle, by John Hallahan of Midleton, brother of Michael.

ON February 20, 1921, the Battle of Clonmult took place in East Cork. 

Twelve IRA Volunteers were shot dead when the farmhouse they were staying in was surrounded by British Forces. Two more were executed later. 

A major series of commemorative events had been planned for this weekend but the Covid restrictions meant these have had to cancelled. 

A church bell ringing ceremony will take place at 5.20pm this evening to remember the fallen. 

It was an old custom in Ireland that when a person died in the locality the local church bell would be rung to announce the sad news to the countryside all around.

All over East Cork this evening the church bells will ring out, three strokes of the bell for each of the dead volunteers, 36 strokes in total.

Those who died at the Battle of Clonmult on February 20, 1921, were:

Richard Hegarty (Garryvoe); Jeremiah Aherne (Midleton); Christopher Sullivan (Midleton); Joseph Morrissey (Carlow); Michael Hallahan (Midleton); James Glavin (Cobh); John Joe Joyce (Midleton); James Aherne (Cobh); Michael Desmond (Midleton); Donal Dennehy (Midleton); Liam Aherne (Midleton); David Desmond (Midleton).

Two more Volunteers who fought at Clonmult, Maurice Moore, Cobh and Patrick O’Sullivan, Cobh, were executed in April 1921.

Each man’s death diminishes me,

For I am involved in mankind.

Therefore, send not to know

For whom the bell tolls,

It tolls for thee.

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