DMP Constable Michael McCarthy

DMP Constable Michael McCarthy (aged 26) of Dublin (Lackanalooha near Clonakilty)

Date of incident: 22 April 1920

Sources: Death Certificate, 24 April 1920; CE, 23, 30 April 1920; CCE, 1 May 1920; Hart (1998), 73; Abbott (2000), 73.


Note: Constable McCarthy was unarmed and on leave from the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) when he was shot six times on 22 April 1920. He died of his wounds in Cork Military Hospital two days later. McCarthy had been a member of the DMP for five years. He was paying a holiday visit to the farm of his brother Daniel and his sister Margaret at Lackanalooha near Clonakilty; he had been there for about a week. He went out to ‘hack’ a field for potatoes, and there he was shot several times. He declared to his sister, ‘Two boys came in the field and shot me.’ First, they ‘fired two shots from the road, wounding him in the hand and leg’. McCarthy then tried to run away, but the two youths ran after him and fired at least twice more, wounding him in the stomach. McCarthy told his sister that the youths had fired the shot into his stomach ‘while he was lying on the ground’ helplessly. Though McCarthy ‘knew everybody in the district’, he did not recognise either of his assailants. See CE, 30 April 1920.

Said the victim’s brother-in-law Jeremiah McCarthy at the coroner’s inquest on 24 April: ‘He [Jeremiah McCarthy] saw him [Michael McCarthy] working in a field on his brother’s farm fifteen minutes before he was shot, and he was then in good health. That was 2:30 p.m. Half an hour later he saw him lying on the ground very bad. He had a number of wounds and complained particularly of a wound in the stomach. He was conscious and told him that two young men fired at him from the public road over the fence. He found him lying about fifteen yards from the public road and had him removed to his brother’s house. He was afterwards taken to the [Cork] Military Hospital.’ McCarthy’s worst wounds were in the abdomen and head, but with additional wounds in both hands and in his right leg. He soon succumbed. See CCE, 1 May 1920.

In 1901 Michael McCarthy (then aged about 7) was one of the five co-resident children (three daughters and two sons) of the Lackanalooha farmer Denis McCarthy and his wife Mary. The eldest son living with them was Daniel, then aged 24, and he had three younger sisters—Mary (22), Margaret (18), and Ellie (14). Daniel McCarthy eventually inherited the farm, and two of his sisters had left it by 1911 while Margaret remained there (unwed). Michael McCarthy had joined the Dublin Metropolitan Police in 1915.  


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