UCC marks centenary of 13 executions during the War of Independence

UCC marks centenary of 13 executions during the War of Independence

University College Cork (UCC) marked the centenary of a dark event in the Irish War of Independence today. A brief ceremony honoured 13 Irish Republican Army Volunteers executed by the British government on different dates in 1921, and buried within the walls of Cork Men’s Gaol, which was later taken over by UCC.  Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

University College Cork (UCC) marked the centenary of 13 executions during the Irish War of Independence today. 

A brief ceremony honoured 13 Irish Republican Army Volunteers executed by the British government on different dates in 1921 at Victoria Barracks (now Collins Barracks) and buried within the walls of Cork Men’s Gaol, which was later taken over by UCC.

The university retained the mass grave and its stone memorial, which Interim President Professor John O’Halloran described as a direct link, ‘to a conflict which profoundly affected the entire island’.

Pictured is UCC Interim President Professor John O’Halloran adressing the commemoration
Pictured is UCC Interim President Professor John O’Halloran adressing the commemoration

Professor O’Halloran told the small gathering that ‘this mass grave has become an important site of national memory.’ 

He added, "The legacy of the 13 executed men and their struggle for independence, remains interwoven within the fabric of both this university and our broader community."

Gabriel Doherty, Lecturer in the School of History paid tribute to the "solemn, dignified, permanent memorial to the memory of those who gave their life that Ireland could be free."

He continued, ‘Certainly there was no sense of shame at the time, nor has there been since, in the mind of the Irish people when they think of the names of the patriot dead of Cork, Tipperary and Limerick whose remains were interred here, following their execution at the hands of the British military in Victoria barracks.’ 

Wreaths were laid by various public representatives, including Councillor Shane O’Callaghan (Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork), Councillor Mary Linehan Foley (Mayor of County Cork), and Councillor Michael Collins (Mayor of the City and County of Limerick). 

Commodore Michael Malone (Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service) and Colonel Ray O’Lean (Executive Officer 1st Brigade, Collins Barracks) represented the Irish Defence Forces.

Those honoured were: (1 February 1921) Captain Cornelius Murphy, Rathduane, Millstreet, Co. Cork; (28 February 1921) Volunteer Patrick O’Mahony Jr, Berrings, Inishcarra, Co. Cork; Volunteer Timothy McCarthy, Fornaught, Donoughmore Co. Cork; Volunteer John Lyons, Arghabulloge, Co. Cork; Volunteer Thomas O’Brien, Model Village, Dripsey, Co. Cork; Volunteer Daniel O’Callaghan, Dripsey, Co. Cork; Captain Sean Allen, Tipperary, Co. Tipperary; (28 April 1921) Volunteer Maurice Moore, Cobh, Co. Cork; Lieutenant Patrick O’Sullivan, Cobh, Co. Cork; Volunteer Thomas Mulcahy, Burnfort, Mallow, Co. Cork; Volunteer Patrick Ronayne, Burnfort, Mallow, Co. Cork; Volunteer Patrick Ronayne, Burnfort, Mallow, Co. Cork; (2 May 1921) Volunteer Patrick Casey, Cahery, Grange, Co. Limerick; (16 May 1921) Volunteer Daniel O’Brien, Knockardane, Co. Cork.

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