Tomas MacCurtain 1884-1920
Born 20th. March 1884 at Ballyknockane, Mourneabbey, Co. Cork. Active in Cork city during period of 1916 Rebellion was imprisoned at Frongoch, Wakefield and Reading. Elected Sinn Fein Councillor for Cork North West and then elected Lord Mayor of Cork in January 1920. After receiving numerous death threats he was shot dead at his home on 20th. March 1920 by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary. Is buried at the Republican plot at St. Finbarr's Cemetery, Cork.
Succeeded Terence MacSwiney as Commandant of Cork No. 1 Brigade after MacSwiney's arrest in August 1920. Led many encounters against the British during War of Independence. Among the executive of the anti-treaty forces who occupied the Four Courts garrison at the start of the Civil War. One of the Republican signatories (on May 1st. 1922) of the document effectively ending the Civil War. Is buried at Kilmurray cemetery.
Terence MacSwiney 1879-1920
Elected to first Dail for West Cork in 1918. Elected Lord Mayor of Cork in March 1920 after Tomas MacCurtain s murder. As Commandant of Cork No. 1 Brigade was arrested on August 12th. 1920 and sentenced to two years in prison. Transferred to Brixton Prison, London where he died after 74 days on hunger strike. His death provoked worldwide sympathy and outrage towards the British Government. He is buried at the Republican plot at St. Finbarr s Cemetery, Cork.
Florence O'Donoghue 1895-1967
Born near Rathmore, Co. Kerry. Joined the Irish Volunteers in Cork in 1914. Adjutant and head of Intelligence of First Brigade during War of Independence, during which he took part in many engagements. Made Adjutant of First Southern Division under command of General Liam Lynch in 1921. Took no part in subsequent Civil War. An exceptional military historian, his writings include biographys of Tomas MacCurtain and Liam Lynch.
Diarmuid O'Hurley - Died 1921
On the morning of May 28th., 1921, Diarmuid O'Hurley, Officer Commanding the East Cork column, was surprised by a foot patrol of Black and Tans at Gurtacrue, just outside Midleton and shot dead as he attempted to escape. He is buried in the Republican plot at the Holy Rosary Cemetery, Midleton.
Dan 'Sandow' O'Donovan
Organised many Cork city actions as Commander of the Cork No. 1 Brigade Flying Column. A carpenter and highly-regarded Gaelic footballer, he was nicknamed 'Sandow' for his resemblance to a famous circus strongman of the time. A tough fighter, O'Donovan commanded the city's First Battalion and later organized the Brigade Flying Column, leading it to victory in the Coolavokig ambush in the winter of 1921. O'Donovan later helped plan the massive weapons seizure from the British ship Upnor in the Truce period. Continued to command the Cork No. 1 Brigade during the Civil War .
A carpenter by trade, Murphy commanded the city's Second Battalion and organized many attacks and ambushes prior to his capture by the British in the spring of 1921. He subsequently fought on the Anti-Treaty side during the Civil War. He was also a well-known sportsman who led his county to three All-Ireland hurling championships.
Liam Heffernan 1898-1920
On the evening of November 27th, 1920, twenty two year old Liam Heffernan (a member of 'B' company, 1st. Battalion, 1st. Brigade) was shot dead by two R.I.C. constables as he sat in his car. He is buried in Knockmourne cemetery, near his home at Conna, East Cork. A monument to his memory was unveiled in Castlemartyr in 1971, just a short distance from where he was shot.
Donnachada MacNiallghuis - Died 1954
A native of CountyDonegal, he was a volunteer officer attached to the Cork Brigade, acting as armourer for the city companies. Made a dramatic escape from Cork prison in November 1918 and was subsequently forced to go on the run. Took part in many activities, including the Dripsey ambush. He died at Rosses Point, Co. Sligo, on December 15, 1954
Tadg O'Sullivan - Died 1921
Tadg O'Sullivan, Captain 'C' Company Second Brigade, Cork I.R.A, and a native of Rathmore, Co. Kerry, was shot dead April, 19th. 1921 at Douglas Street, Cork city by a group of Black and Tans, led by the infamous Sergeant Hollywood. Had led ambush of military lorry at Barrack Street some months previously.
Tomas Malone (alias Sean Forde)
Born Tyrrellspass, Co. Westmeath. Vice O.C. East Limerick Flying Column. Captured in Cork city and transferred to Spike Island, from where he escaped with Sean MacSweeney and Sean Twomey. Died 1981 and buried at Nenagh, Co Tipperary.
A teacher and the son of Irish immigrants living in Liverpool, he came to Ireland and joined the Cork No. 3 Brigade flying column. His first action was the disastrous Upton Train Station Ambushin March 1921. Phelan and two Volunteers were killed, along with six passengers. British soldiers shot and bayoneted Phelan as he tried to escape through the station bathroom window. He is buried in the Republican plot at St Finbarr's Cemetery in Cork city.
Born 1890. Captain of E Company 4th. Battalion Cork No. 1 Brigade. Involved in the construction of bomb factories and an underground vault known as Sing Sing (which was used to imprison enemy personnel) at KilquaneCemetery near Knockraha in East Cork. Survived three hunger strikes. Joined Cork Council in 1924 and was elected to Dail Eireann in 1927. He remained a member of the Dail until he retired in 1969, having won 12 consecutive elections. Died in 1979 and buried in Midleton cemetery.
Born in 1894 at Kerry Pike, near Cork city. Joined Cork No. 1 Brigade in 1919 and later became a member of the brigade flying column and was involved in many operations against the British. Having been appointed director of training in 1921, he was responsible for the setting up of training camps throughout the brigade area. After the truce he was selected to be the first Irish officer to command Victoria (later Collins ) barracks.
Patrick 'Pa' Murray
Commander of the Cork city ActiveService Unit and leader of many ambushes and attacks. Commanded IRA forces in Cork city in 1921. Murray earlier headed an assassination team sent to London to kill members of the British Cabinet during Terence MacSwiney's hunger strike. He also led the team that tracked down and shot the informer 'Croxy' O'Connor in New York in early 1922. He sided with the Anti-Treaty forces during the Civil War and became the OC of the IRA in Britain.
OC of the city Active Service Unit of the Cork No. 1 Brigade. Arrested in April 1921, he tunnelled out of Spike Island Prison with other Cork officers. During the Civil War, Crofts commanded the Anti-Treaty First Southern Division and served on the IRA Executive. Later was active in Fianna Fail and became election agent of future Taoiseach Jack Lynch.
Leading intelligence officer in Cork city. He organized and led the assassinations of RIC District Commissioner Smyth in the Cork Conservative Club in July 1920, and District Inspector Swanzy in Lisburn the following month. Culhane fought with the Brigade flying column at Coolavokig, but was captured in May 1921. On the staff of the Succeeded Florence O'Donoghue as First Southern Division Intelligence Officer during the truce.
First (Cork City and Mid-Cork) Brigade