'Utter Disloyalist' by Dr Donal O'Drisceoil
Tadhg Barry was the last high-profile victim of the crown forces during the Irish War of Independence. A veteran republican, trade unionist, journalist, poet, GAA official and alderman on Cork Corporation, he was shot dead in Ballykinlar internment camp on 15 November 1921.
Barry’s tragic death was a huge, but subsequently largely forgotten, event in Ireland. Dublin came to a standstill as a quarter of a million people lined the streets and the IRA had its last full mobilisation before the Treaty split. The funeral in Cork echoed those of Barry’s comrades, the martyred lord mayors Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney.
The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed three weeks later, all internees were released and the movement that elevated him to hero/martyr status was ripped asunder in the ensuing civil war. The name of Tadhg Barry became lost in the smoke.
Donal Ó Drisceoil is a Senior Lecturer in History at University College Cork. He has published widely on modern Irish history and is an editor of the award-winning Atlas of the Irish Revolution (2017).