I.R.A. Volunteers Shot Dead at Derrygallon

(Irish War of Independence - Second Cork Brigade)

Smith Street

The scene of the shooting by British forces of Paddy Clancy and Jack O'Connell at Derrygallon, near Kanturk.

On the 14th August, 1920, a British army plane made a forced landing near Clonbanin, about four miles south of the town of Kanturk. Shortly afterwards about twenty British soldiers were deployed from Kanturk garrison to guard the plane.

Just before dawn on the following morning a party of about twenty volunteers under Jack O'Connell, the Battalion O.C. moved into the area, with the intention of  attacking the armed guard. When they got to the fence adjoining the field, the were surprised by a sentry, who was shot dead as he attempted to fire on them. The British had now been alerted and opened fire on the volunteers. As the element of surprise was now gone, the I.R.A. party retreated without sustaining any casualties.

The following morning the British were actively attempting to track down those responsible for the attack. At Derrygallon, about three miles south-west of Kanturk, Paddy Clancy and Jack O'Connell had been sleeping at OíConnellís house when it was surrounded by police and soldiers.

The two tried to fight their way out but some distance from the house they were both shot dead. The men had been seen in the area by an informer who had immediately passed on the information to the British in Kanturk.

Paddy Clancy, who was creamery manager at Allensbridge Co-Op near Newmarket, had only just been appointed leader of the soon to be formed brigade flying column.

The monument at Derrygallon, North Cork.

As a postscript to the story, a Sergeant Dennehy, who had been based in Kanturk at the time of the shootings, moved to Paddington Police Station in London shortly after. This information was passed to the Republican G.H.Q. in Dublin and two men were dispatched to London to execute him. He was shot not far from the main platform of Paddington railway station.