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Midleton Hurling and Football, Ladies Football and Camogie Club News

14 February, 2021

The key messages for this week:

  • Happy Valentine’s Day to all our members and supporters.
  • Update from GAA's Covid Advisory Group and Useful Numbers
  • Lotto Jackpot reaches €20,000
  • Proposed Membership Rates for 2021 & 3G Pitch Development
  • Cork County Board Draw….Rebels’ Bounty tickets on sale
  • Clonmult Ambush Centenary Commemoration…Portrait of Patriots Series

Midleton GAA…at the ‘Heart of the Community’. Ní neart go cur le chéile. There is no strength without unity.

Happy Valentine's Day

COVID Update

It is the view of the GAA's Covid Advisory Group that on-field activity will not be permitted until Easter at the earliest after the Government clarified that inter-county Gaelic Games activity is not covered under the current Level 5 exemptions for elite sports.

For more details on GAA statement please click here.

In the interim, it is expected that the Government will publish an updated "Living with Covid" plan and we expect that this will provide clarity on when clubs and counties are likely to be allowed return to training and games in 2021.

In the absence of group on-field activity individual skill and fitness training is important. This will not only help maintain skill and fitness levels but will also help with our mental health and wellbeing.

We can see light at the end of the tunnel. Ní neart go cur le chéile. There is no strength without unity.

Useful Numbers

As Level 5 restrictions continue it is important to remember that you are not alone.

Here are some useful numbers to keep in mind

  • Mental Health Information Line             1800 111 888
  • Samaritans                                           116 123
  • Pieta House                                          1800 247 247
  • Aware                                                  1800 80 48 48
  • Women’s Aid                                        1800 341 900
  • Men’s Aid Ireland                                  01 5543811
  • Elder Abuse Helpline                             1850 241 850
  • Free 24/7 Text Line                               Text TALK to 50808
  • Childline                                               1800 66 66 66 or Text 50101
  • Alcoholics Anonymous                          01 842 0700
  • Gamblers Anonymous Cork                   087 285 9552
  • Gardaí                                                  999 or 112
  • Midleton Garda Station                         021 4621550

Mega Lotto Results

 

  • 4 Lucky Dip Prize Winners this week
  • The re-launched Lotto is a critical component of our fundraising for Park South. The support to date has been good, especially with the number of annual subscriptions that have been submitted.
  • In total Midleton GAA will give out local business vouchers to the value of €3,800 every year as part of our “Shop Local, Buy Local” campaign.
  • How to play: Go to https://www.klubfunder.com/Clubs/Midleton%20GAA/lotto select your numbers and number of draws to play. You can buy an annual ticket by selecting “50” from the “Number of Draws” to Play dropdown.

Proposed Membership Rates for 2021 & 3G Pitch Development

 

Recently members will have received, by email, a communication outlining proposed changes in Membership Rates for 2021 and the reasoning behind them.

If you didn’t receive an email but feel that you should have then please email secretary.midleton.cork@gaa.ie

***EXTRACT FROM RECENT COMMUNICATION***

  • At an Executive meeting on 19th January the Club Executive approved membership rates for 2021. In line with the Club constitution these now need to be ratified by the members.
  • These new membership rates (see detailed rates in Exhibit A) would raise approximately €35,445 more in membership in 2021 over 2020.
  • This increase in membership will be ring fenced for and will be set aside to fund the development of a 3G pitch in Park South (see estimated costings and sources of funding in Exhibit B).
  • The Club Executive are very conscious that whilst these are difficult times we believe that, with Park South, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to put in place facilities that will serve future generations of the Club.
  • The Club Executive are asking members to vote in favour of these membership fees for 2021 as a preamble to the development of a 3G pitch in Park South to commence in 2021.

Procedure for Voting

  1. Please review and read the detailed Questions & Answers and supporting Exhibits that have been prepared and approved by the Club Executive.
  2. Accompanying this document is a voting form. You can vote in one of 2 ways:
    1. Print the voting paper, indicate your voting preference, complete you name in block letters, then sign the form, scan the form and return by email to Club Secretary Vincent Reddy at the following email address secretary.midleton.cork@gaa.ie
    2. You may also vote by printing the voting paper, indicate your voting preference, complete you name in block letters, then sign the form, and then post it Vincent Reddy, Secretary Midleton G.A.A., Park South, Midleton, Co. Cork, P25 E025
    3. If you don’t have the facilities to print and scan the voting papers then email secretary.midleton.cork@gaa.ie to arrange for a printed copy of the voting form to be delivered and collected.
  3. If you have any question regarding the proposed membership increase and/or 3G development in Park South then please feel free to email Club Secretary Vincent Reddy at email address secretary.midleton.cork@gaa.ie. We will endeavour to answer any question within 5 days.
  4. In order to give people ample time to ask questions and receive replies about this once-in-a-generation development we will allow ample time for people to return voting papers. In this regard, completed voting papers should be received no later than 12 noon on 1 March 2021.

***ENDS***

Rebels’ Bounty Draw

The Cork County Board Draw has been re-name Rebels’ Bounty  2021. This is a fund-raiser not just for the Cork County Board but also for GAA clubs within the county. Midleton GAA are promoting Rebels’ Bounty Draw as a vehicle to raise funds for our new facilities at Park South.

All monies collected, YES, that's 100% of it goes directly to the Midleton GAA club without any admin costs, any risks or any prize costs. Many long term members are renewing now and many new members joining due to the new attractive prizes.

As you can see from the above image, there is now a total prize fund of €500k with a Whopping €100k for December 21 Draw. There are 360 cash prizes in total per year.

Purchase a ticket to support the GAA and especially Midleton GAA – Magpies Abú

To sign up for the draw simply click on the joining link:

https://rebelsbounty.ergogroup.ie/prod/rebelsbounty/join-draw

If you have any queries/questions or need help purchasing a ticket, you can contact the following people who will be delighted to assist you. Many thanks for all your support over the years which has enabled Midleton GAA to thrive and remain a forward-thinking and proactive club and strive to always be better for all our members and our community.

Pat O Brien - Coordinator Club Draw Coordinator 086 8118815

Liam Ryan, Steve Sheehan, Pearse Mc Carthy, John Fenton, Diarmuid Ó Dálaigh

Go raibh maith agaibh. Thank you.

Juvenile

Junior Infants Boys Pre-Registration

The ongoing Govid-19 government restrictions has meant that the most important boy’s team in the club, the new Fé6 Junior Infants Boys, haven’t been able to commence their GAA training yet. We hope that once the restrictions are lifted, this group will join all their teammates in Midleton GAA Club on the training fields. We also hope that official Club registration will take place when restrictions allow. In the meantime, if any parents of Junior Infant Boys wish to submit their details including name/ number/ email, they can do so to our Juvenile Secretary Michael Carroll at secretarybng.midleton.cork@gaa.ie or to 086-8362218.

Healthy Club Project

Operation Transformation 5K

The Operation Transformation 5K in association with Athletics Ireland and Sport Ireland is back! On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the 18th 19th and 20th of February, we are inviting you to take part this year by participating in a VIRTUAL OT 5K. You MUST register to take part in this event.

Register at https://ot.rte.ie/events/the-operation-transformation-5k/ 

Once registered you can select the day that you want to do your 5k. We want to see your 5K Journey!! Please send any footage you take before, during or after you 5K experience to otvirtual5k@gmail.com

GAA Museum Virtual Book Club

While it’s not possible to visit the GAA Museum or its Library & Archives in person right now, you can still learn more about Gaelic Games and the history of the Association by becoming a member of their new virtual GAA Museum Book Club. Each month the GAA Museum team will choose a well-known GAA book to read and review. At the end of the month, the museum will host a free online interview with the author, in which members can submit questions and comments. The ambition of the book club is to review some of the great GAA books and to give us all a much-needed sporting boost as we stay at home. You can find out more and how to get involved via the following link: https://crokepark.ie/bookclub

Safeguarding, Vetting & Coaching

 

Any person who carries out a role of responsibility such as coaching, managing or training underage teams, or any team that has a player under 18 years of age must be vetted. The National Vetting Bureau Act 2012-2016 makes vetting a statutory obligation and therefore applies to everyone working with children.  Vetting can be done online through the E Vetting system. Vetting is now valid for three years instead of five years as it was in the past.  You will be contacted by the club in the next couple of weeks if you need to renew.  Anyone vetted between Jan 16 and Jan 19 must now be re-vetted.

The GAA is committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for all young people who wish to participate.  In an attempt to achieve this for all our underage players, coaches must complete a Safeguarding 1 workshop as highlighted in the Children First as one of the mandatory requirements.

The club will host a Safeguarding training online on Tuesday 2nd March at 7pm. This will take approx 2.5/3 hours. 

To facilitate those who require foundation training the club will host a training on Monday 8th Feb at 7pm. This will involve an hour online with some further online work to be done in your own time and a final practical piece to be completed when the restrictions lift.

To book either of these trainings or for assistance with vetting  please email childrensofficermidletongaa@gmail.com or text Jerome Curtin  ( Midleton GAA Children’s Officer) at 087 2100989

Midleton GAA have always been compliant with regard to these mandatory requirements so it would be great to have everything updated during this period of closure so we will be ready to get back to action without delay when the time comes.

Clonmult Ambush Centenary Commemoration

Ag druidim le comóradh chéad bliain Luíochán Clonmult an 20 Feabhra déanfaimid sraith ‘Portraits of Clonmult Patriots’ a athphostáil.

In the run up to the centenary of the Clonmult Ambush on 20 February we will re-post a ‘Portraits of Clonmult Patriots’ series.

This will include a picture and biography of the 15 column members who died during the the War of Independence (12 who died at Clonmult, 2 that were executed at Victoria Barracks and the Column Leader who died at Gurtacrue, Midleton) and those who survived Clonmult on that fateful day.

Many thanks to the Clonmult Centenary Commemoration Committee and their contributors for this fantastic content.

For those not familiar with the Clonmult Ambush and its local and national significance, then visit the Clonmult Ambush Site Facebook Page. There you will see some suggested reading such as the book written by Tom O’Neill titled ‘The IRA’s Worst Defeat’ and the readable and informative Commemorative Journal/Calendar published  to mark the centenary of the ambush.

Subject to COVID restrictions other commemoration events will be organised by Midleton GAA.

“Portraits of Clonmult Patriots Series”

Volunteer James Glavin, Cobh

 

Vol James Glavin was nineteen and he lived in 103 French’s Avenue, Queenstown (Cobh). He lived with his mother and father, Katie and William Glavin. They had one daughter Kathleen and three other sons, John, Cornelius and William. He worked as a telephone operator in the Royal Naval Dockyard on Haulbowline Island. He was a member of Na Fianna, the republican boy scout organisation, before joining the 4th Battalion flying column.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 20th February, Vol James Glavin was preparing for the march out with the column to their new base near Leamlara. When the farmhouse was surrounded by British soldiers, he was with the group trapped inside. Vol James Glavin did not participate in the attempted breakout with Capt Jack O’Connell, instead, he provided covering fire for the breakout. Later, when the thatch roof was set on fire and the house surrounded, he was left with no other choice than to surrender. Capt Paddy Higgins took the decision to surrender approximately fifteen minutes after the roof was set on fire.

Vol James Glavin was determined that the Crown Forces would not take back rifle. His rifle was no doubt captured from Crown Forces during a previous action. Before coming out of the house to surrender, he threw his rifle and ammunition into the open fire.

Vol James Glavin exited the farmhouse with his eleven comrades and all were ordered to line up against the east wall of the cowshed. Almost immediately the Auxiliary Police opened fire with their revolvers at close range and killed seven of their twelve prisoners. Vols James Glavin, Donal Dennehy, William Ahern, his first-cousin Jeremiah Ahern, David Desmond, Joseph Morrissey and Lt Christopher O’Sullivan, were all shot dead. A British Army officer regained control of the Auxiliaries and stopped further killings and thus saved the lives of the remaining prisoners.

The bodies of the twelve IRA men were left at the battle site on the Sunday night. The British soldiers returned to Clonmult on Monday morning to collect the bodies and to conduct a more thorough search of the battle site. Later that day the twelve bodies were transported by the British Army, to the mortuary in Victoria Barracks, Cork.

When the bodies were brought into the mortuary, they were received and labelled for identification by the military doctor on duty, Capt J B Morrison, Royal Army Medical Corps, (RAMC). Capt Morrison carried out an examination on all of the bodies that day. The eleventh body to be identified was James Glavin. He was identified by his mother, Mrs Kate Glavin, she stated that she was from Midleton. She also stated that he was her son and that he resided in Midleton, was unmarried, age about nineteen and that he was a clerk. The medical evidence was that he had been fatally shot by Crown Forces in the execution of their duty.

On Wednesday, 23rd of February, the twelve bodies were released to their families and were removed from Victoria Barracks late that evening. The cortege carrying the twelve coffins travelled together as far as Cobh Cross and from there the coffins of James Glavin and James Ahern were taken to St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh.

At 3.00 pm on Thursday, 24th February, the funerals of the two Cobh men were held in Cobh Cathedral. Following the requiem mass the chimes of St Colman’s Cathedral pealed Let Erin Remember. Vol James Glavin and Capt James Ahern were buried in the Republican Plot of what is now the old graveyard at Ticknock, on the northern side of the town.

Vol James Glavin died for Ireland at Clonmult on Sunday the 20th of February 1921.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

 

Volunteer Michael Hallahan, Midleton

 

Vol Michael Hallahan was aged 22 and he lived in the family home in 12 Commissioners’ Buildings, Midleton, now called Clonmult Terrace. His parents John and Elizabeth had one daughter, Ellen, and three sons, John, Michael and Thomas. The terrace was renamed to commemorate and remember the five men that were in the column and lived there. The other four were the two Desmond brothers David and Michael and the two Ahern brothers Liam and Joseph. Joe Ahern was the only survivor of the five after Clonmult.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 20th February, Michael Hallahan was preparing for the march out with the column to their new base near Leamlara. When the farmhouse was surrounded by British soldiers, he was with the group that attempted a breakout with Capt Jack O’Connell.

Vol Michael Hallahan followed Capt O’Connell out of the farmhouse and he was almost immediately shot dead outside the door. Capt James Ahern followed next and he attempted to make his escape running in a south westerly direction, unfortunately for him, in the direction of the crossroads. He covered approximately three-hundred meters before being shot dead while climbing over a ditch in one of the fields. The two men detained earlier, Michael Hennessy and John Crowley heard the shooting and concluded that James Ahern was shot dead by one of the sentries located east of the crossroads. Capt Dick Hegarty was next out, but was shot down, mortally wounded, while attempting to reach the fence in front of the house. The last man out was Capt Jeremiah O’Leary. He got into the farmyard, but, seeing his colleagues fall, he decided there was no hope of escape and dashed back again into the house amidst a hail of bullets, none of which, fortunately hit him.

The dying Capt Dick Hegarty was still managing to fire his rifle and this may have distracted the troops enough for Capt O’Leary to get back into the house.  The attempted breakout was over, of the five, three were dead and only one managed to get through the British Army cordon.

There was a stalemate until the British Army was reinforced by the Auxiliary Police. Shortly afterwards the thatch roof was set on fire and the volunteers trapped inside had no option but to surrender.

When the first twelve volunteers came out of the farmhouse with their hand up they were ordered to line up against the east wall of the cowshed. Almost immediately the Auxiliary Police opened fire with their revolvers at close range and killed seven of their twelve prisoners.  One of the British Army officers stopped the Auxiliaries from killing the remainder of the prisoners. The battle of Clonmult was now over and twelve members of the column were dead and eight were taken as prisoners.

On Monday morning, 21st February, the National newspapers gave brief details of the battle and had thirteen as the number of IRA men killed. However, due to the confusion of the battle, it is understandable that this incorrect figure was given. In reality, twelve IRA men had been killed and their bodies had been left overnight beside the smouldering ruin of what had been their billet at Clonmult. The British troops returned to collect the bodies on Monday morning around 9.00 o’clock and carried out a more thorough search of the immediate area. The British were convinced that the body of the column commander had been removed by the IRA during the night, this gave rise to the figure of thirteen killed.

The British army trucks were driven down a narrow lane that ran from Carey’s cottage. The remains of the twelve dead republicans were loaded onto the trucks and were conveyed directly to the mortuary located at the rear of the hospital block in Victoria Barracks in Cork. There they were received and labelled for identification by the military doctor on duty, Capt J B Morrison, Royal Army Medical Corps, (RAMC). Capt Morrison carried out an examination on all of the bodies that day.

Information on the battle gradually reached the families of the column members on Sunday night and Monday morning. During Monday, a special meeting of Midleton U.D.C. was held and a vote of sympathy was passed to the families of the deceased.

On Wednesday morning, 23rd of February, a ‘Military Court of Inquiry in lieu of an Inquest’ was set up. Its purpose was to investigate and report upon the circumstances under which the twelve civilians met their deaths. The court having assembled pursuant to order proceeded to view the bodies of the twelve civilians at the Military Hospital, Cork and to take evidence on oath.

The ninth body to be identified was Michael Hallahan. He was identified by Miss Nellie Mackey of Queenstown, (Cobh). She stated that he resided in Midleton, was unmarried, age about twenty-two and was a tailor. She did not state her relationship with the deceased. The medical evidence was that he had been fatally shot by Crown Forces in the execution of their duty.

On Wednesday the bodies were released to their families and were removed from Victoria Barracks late that evening. The cortege carrying the twelve coffins travelled together as far as Cobh Cross and from there the coffins of James Ahern and James Glavin were taken to St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh. The other ten coffins were taken to Midleton by lorry, where they arrived at about 10.00pm. ‘Crowds had been gathering in the town from 4.00 pm and the church bell had been ringing since about that time.  It was a fine, dry, calm night, though somewhat cold, and a deep silence pervading the whole scene at such an hour at night, the event was undoubtedly solemn, and was one calculated never to be forgotten by those who were present on the sad occasion’. The coffins were shouldered from the Cork side of the town to the church where they were placed in front of the high altar.

Following Requiem High Mass at 10.00 am on Thursday 24th February in Holy Rosary Church, the nine coffins of the local men, including Vol Michael Hallahan were laid to rest in the Republican Plot. The coffins were draped in tricolours and there were innumerable wreaths.

Vol Michael Hallahan died for Ireland at Clonmult, on Sunday 20th February, 1921.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

Volunteer Jeremiah Ahern, Midleton

 

Vol Jeremiah (Jerry) Ahern was aged 22 in 1921 and he lived in 11 Free School Lane, now College View, Midleton. He was one of six children born to William and Hannah Ahern, William, Jeremiah, Joseph, Mary Kate, Margaret Agnes and Francis. Prior to going on the run and joining the flying column, he was employed as a mechanic in the Midleton Engineering Works. Mick Leahy, the commanding officer of the Fourth Battalion, Vice-Comdt Joe Ahern and Capt Paddy Whelan were also employed in the Midleton Engineering Works.

Three of the four Ahern men involved with the column at Clonmult were related. Vice-Comdt Joe Ahern and Vol William (Liam) were brothers and were first-cousins of Jeremiah. Joe and William’s mother was Hannah Ahern before marrying Ahern and she was a sister of Jeremiah’s father. Jeremiah Ahern’s sister Mary married Tommy Wallis who was also involved in the IRA at the time. Another sister Bridie was a member of Cumann na mBan. Capt James Ahern of Cobh was not related to the other three Ahern men.

Jeremiah was an active member of ‘B’ (Midleton) Company, Fourth Battalion. He participated in most of the actions involving the Company and later the flying column. These actions against Crown Forces included the successful attacks on Carrigtwohill and Cloyne RIC Barracks and the ambush on the joint RIC Black & Tan foot patrol in Midleton on the 29th of December, 1920, during which an RIC constable and two Black and Tans were killed.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 20th February he was preparing for the march out with the column to their new base near Leamlara. When the farmhouse was surrounded by British soldiers he was with the group trapped inside. Vol Jeremiah Ahern did not participate in the attempted breakout with Capt Jack O’Connell, instead, he provided covering fire for the breakout. Later, when the thatch roof was set on fire and the house surrounded, he was left with no other choice than to surrender. Capt Paddy Higgins took the decision to surrender approximately fifteen minutes after the roof was set on fire.

Vol Jeremiah Ahern exited the farmhouse with his eleven comrades and all were ordered to line up against the east wall of the cowshed. Almost immediately the Auxiliary Police opened fire with their revolvers at close range and killed seven of their twelve prisoners. Vol Jeremiah Ahern and his first-cousin Vol Liam Ahern, Lt Christopher O’Sullivan, Volunteers David Desmond, Donal Dennehy, Joseph Morrissey and James Glavin were all shot dead. A British Army officer regained control of the Auxiliaries and stopped further killings and thus saved the lives of the remaining prisoners.

On Monday morning, 21st February, the National newspapers gave brief details of the battle and had thirteen as the number of IRA men killed. However, due to the confusion of the battle, it is understandable that this incorrect figure was given. In reality, twelve IRA men had been killed and their bodies had been left overnight beside the smouldering ruin of what had been their billet at Clonmult. The British troops returned to collect the bodies on Monday morning around 9.00 o’clock and carried out a more thorough search of the immediate area. The British were convinced that the body of the column commander had been removed by the IRA during the night, this gave rise to the figure of thirteen killed.

The British army trucks were driven down a narrow lane that ran from Carey’s cottage. The remains of the twelve dead republicans were loaded onto the trucks and were conveyed directly to the mortuary located at the rear of the hospital block in Victoria Barracks in Cork. There they were received and labelled for identification by the military doctor on duty, Capt J B Morrison, Royal Army Medical Corps, (RAMC). Capt Morrison carried out an examination on all of the bodies that day.

Information on the battle gradually reached the families of the column members on Sunday night and Monday morning. During Monday, a special meeting of Midleton U.D.C. was held and a vote of sympathy was passed to the families of the deceased.

On Wednesday morning, 23rd of February, a ‘Military Court of Inquiry in lieu of an Inquest’ was set up. Its purpose was to investigate and report upon the circumstances under which the twelve civilians met their deaths. The court having assembled pursuant to order proceeded to view the bodies of the civilians at the Military Hospital, Cork and to take evidence on oath. The eighth body to be identified was Jeremiah Ahern. He was identified by his sister Miss Eileen Ahern of 22 Washington Street, Cork City. She stated that he was her brother, that he resided in Midleton, was unmarried, age twenty-two and was a mechanic. The medical evidence was that he had been fatally shot by Crown Forces in the execution of their duty.

On Wednesday the bodies were released to their families and were removed from Victoria Barracks late that evening. The cortege carrying the twelve coffins travelled together as far as Cobh Cross and from there the coffins of James Ahern and James Glavin were taken to St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh. The other ten coffins were taken to Midleton by lorry, where they arrived at about 10.00 pm. ‘Crowds had been gathering in the town from 4.00 pm and the church bell had been ringing since about that time.  It was a fine, dry, calm night, though somewhat cold, and a deep silence pervading the whole scene at such an hour at night, the event was undoubtedly solemn, and was one calculated never to be forgotten by those who were present on the sad occasion’. The coffins were shouldered from the Cork side of the town to the church, where they were placed in front of the high altar.

Following Requiem High Mass at 10.00 am on Thursday 24th February in Holy Rosary Church, the nine coffins of the local men, including Vol Jeremiah Ahern, were laid to rest in the Republican Plot. The coffins were draped in tricolours and there were innumerable wreaths.

Vol Jeremiah Ahern died for Ireland at Clonmult, on Sunday, 20th February, 1921.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Volunteers David and Michael Desmond, Midleton

Volunteers David and Michael Desmond were single and both lived with their widowed mother, Bridget, in the family home at No. 17 Commissioner’s Buildings, Midleton. They had three brothers and two sisters, Edmond, Patrick, Mary Ellen, Christy and Bridget. The terrace was renamed Clonmult Terrace, to commemorate and remember the five men that lived there, that were in the flying column at the time of Clonmult. The other three were brothers Joseph and William Ahern and Michael Hallahan. Joseph Ahern was the only one of the five alive after the battle of Clonmult. The Desmond brothers were related to Vol Maurice Moore also killed at Clonmult.

Vols David and Michael Desmond were active members of ‘B’ (Midleton) Company, Fourth Battalion. They participated in most of the actions involving the Company and later the flying column. These actions against Crown Forces included the attack on the Cameron Highlanders mobile patrol at Whiterock outside Midleton on the 26th of August 1920, during which the British soldier driving the lorry was killed. The successful attacks on Carrigtwohill and Cloyne RIC Barracks and the ambush on the joint RIC Black & Tan foot patrol in Midleton on the 29th of December, 1920, during which an RIC constable and two Black and Tans were killed.

When the Fourth Battalion flying column was formed at Knockraha towards the end of September 1920, David and Michael Desmond were among the first to report for duty. The two men were full-time members of the column from its formation until the battle of Clonmult.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 20th February, David and Michael Desmond were preparing for the march out with the column to their new base near Leamlara, when the farmhouse was surrounded by British soldiers. At the time Volunteers Michael Desmond and John Joe Joyce were going to the well to collect water for the column. The two volunteers became engaged in a very brief gun battle with the British soldiers belonging to Lt Koe’s patrol, as the soldiers were manoeuvring to surround the house. The two IRA men were each armed with revolvers, one also had a rifle with a fixed bayonet, while the other had a double barrel shotgun. Both were outgunned as well as being outnumbered by the British troops. This one sided engagement was quickly over with both IRA men mortally wounded. Michael Desmond and John Joe Joyce died at the rear or north side of the farmhouse. Vol David Desmond was with the group trapped inside. Vol David Desmond did not participate in the attempted breakout with Capt Jack O’Connell, instead, he provided covering fire for the breakout. Later, when the thatch roof was set on fire and the house surrounded, David Desmond was left with no other choice than to surrender. Capt Paddy Higgins took the decision to surrender approximately fifteen minutes after the roof was set on fire.

Vol David Desmond exited the farmhouse with his eleven comrades and all were ordered to line up against the east wall of the cowshed. Almost immediately the Auxiliary Police opened fire with their revolvers at close range and killed seven of their twelve prisoners. Vol David Desmond, Vol Donal Dennehy, Vol William Ahern, his first-cousin Vol Jeremiah Ahern, Lt Christopher O’Sullivan, Joseph Morrissey and James Glavin were all shot dead. A British Army officer regained control of the Auxiliaries and stopped further killings and thus saved the lives of the remaining prisoners.

On Monday morning, 21st February, the National newspapers gave brief details of the battle and had thirteen as the number of IRA men killed. However, due to the confusion of the battle, it is understandable that this incorrect figure was given. In reality, twelve IRA men had been killed and their bodies had been left overnight beside the smouldering ruin of what had been their billet at Clonmult. The British troops returned to collect the bodies on Monday morning around 9.00 o’clock and carried out a more thorough search of the immediate area. The British were convinced that the body of the column commander had been removed by the IRA during the night, this gave rise to the figure of thirteen killed.

Information on the battle gradually reached the families of the column members on Sunday night and Monday morning. The mother of the two Desmond brothers was very ill in bed at her home in Commissioners Buildings. At about 6.00 pm on the Sunday evening, her daughters who were in an adjacent room heard her speaking to someone. They went to her bedroom to find that she was alone, they asked her who she was speaking to? She told them that she had been speaking with David and Michael, but everything was alright, they were with God.

On Monday morning the British army trucks were driven down a narrow lane that ran from Carey’s cottage to the farmhouse. The remains of the twelve dead republicans were loaded onto the trucks and were conveyed directly to the mortuary located at the rear of the hospital block in Victoria Barracks, Cork. There they were received and labelled for identification by the military doctor on duty, Capt J B Morrison, Royal Army Medical Corps, (RAMC). Capt Morrison carried out an examination on all of the bodies that day.

During Monday, a special meeting of Midleton U.D.C. was held and a vote of sympathy was passed to the families of the deceased.

On Wednesday morning, 23rd of February, a ‘Military Court of Inquiry in lieu of an Inquest’ was set up in Victoria Barracks. Its purpose was to investigate and report upon the circumstances under which the twelve civilians met their deaths. The court having assembled pursuant to order proceeded to view the bodies of the twelve civilians at the Military Hospital, Cork and to take evidence on oath.

The third body to be identified was David Desmond. He was identified by his aunt, Mrs Buckley, of 16 West View, Queenstown, (Cobh). She stated that he resided in Midleton, was unmarried, age about twenty-four, she did not know what his occupation was and that she was his aunt.

The last body to be identified was Michael Desmond. He too was identified by his aunt, Mrs Buckley of Queenstown, (Cobh). She stated that he resided in Midleton, was unmarried, age twenty-two, that he was employed at Hanlons of Cork, she did not know what his occupation was and that she was his aunt. The medical evidence was that they had been fatally shot by Crown Forces in the execution of their duty.

On Wednesday the bodies were released to their families and were removed from Victoria Barracks late that evening. The cortege carrying the twelve coffins travelled together as far as Cobh Cross and from there the coffins of James Ahern and James Glavin were taken to St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh. The other ten coffins were taken to Midleton by lorry, where they arrived at about 10.00pm. ‘Crowds had been gathering in the town from 4.00 pm and the church bell had been ringing since about that time.  It was a fine, dry, calm night, though somewhat cold, and a deep silence pervading the whole scene at such an hour at night, the event was undoubtedly solemn, and was one calculated never to be forgotten by those who were present on the sad occasion’. The coffins were shouldered from the Cork side of the town to the church where they were placed in front of the high altar.

Following Requiem High Mass at 10.00 am on Thursday 24th February in Holy Rosary Church, the nine coffins of the local men, including Volunteers David and Michael Desmond were laid to rest in the Republican Plot. The coffins were draped in tricolours and there were innumerable wreaths.

Volunteers David and Michael Desmond died for Ireland at Clonmult, on Sunday,

20th February, 1921.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh siad.

Condolences

Cumann Luthchleas Gael Mainistir na Corann would like to offer our deepest sympathies to Ann-Marie, Stephen, Tim, Dan, Kate and John O’Sullivan on the recent passing of Ann-Marie’s father Tom Dunphy.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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