Volunteer William Mulcahy

Volunteer William Mulcahy (aged 22) of 23 Watercourse Road, Cork city (1 Watercourse Road, Blackpool)

Date of incident: 26 Nov. 1920

Sources: CE, 27, 30 Nov. 1920; CC, 27 Nov. 1920; II, 29 Nov. 1920; CWN, 4 Dec. 1920; Military Inquests, WO 35/155A/52 (TNA); WS 719 of Maurice Ford et al., 6 (BMH); IRA Roll of Honour, Cork No. 1 Brigade (Cork Museum, Fitzgerald Park, Cork); Rebel Cork’s FS, 25; Last Post (1976), 75.


Note: There was another bomb explosion—at No. 1 Watercourse Road in the Blackpool district of Cork city—on Friday morning, 26 November 1920, only three days after the last one. Again, IRA men died in their own bomb and ammunition factory. This bomb exploded in the workshop of the undertaker Daniel O’Leary. The caption for one of two newspaper photos read: ‘The business carried on in the premises is that of coffin-making. The deceased were standing close to the coffin shown in the picture when the bomb exploded.’ See CE, 27 Nov. 1920.

Two Volunteers were killed by the explosion—William Mulcahy and Denis Christopher Morrissey. Morrissey was dead on arrival at the North Infirmary, while Mulcahy died within a half hour of admission. A third man—Daniel Kelleher of Killeens, an apprentice in the workshop—was wounded. He had gone out to buy cigarettes, and the bomb exploded just as he was returning to the loft where Mulcahy and Morrissey were working. At a subsequent court of inquiry the undertaker O’Leary gave evidence that Morrissey (aged 17 ½) and Mulcahy (aged 22) had been employed by him as carpenters. A police witness testified, however, that after the explosion and during a search of the carpenter’s shop he had found hidden underneath a bench ‘a small tin box wrapped in a piece of sack cloth’. In the box were ‘353 rounds of revolver ammunition of various sizes. . . . All were flat-nosed bullets, while four were sporting cartridges. . . . He also found a large unexploded bomb, which had since to be destroyed as it was dangerous. That was found in a helmet newly painted.’ See CE, 30 Nov. 1920. Mulcahy was a member of E Company of the First Battalion of the Cork No. 1 Brigade. He was buried in the Republican Plot in St Finbarr’s Cemetery in Cork.

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