Volunteer Deputy Vice-Commandant Patrick J. Clancy

Volunteer Deputy Vice-Commandant Patrick J. Clancy (aged about 28) of Cush near Kilfinnane, Co. Limerick (near Kanturk)

Date of incident: 16 Aug. 1920

Sources: CE, 16, 17, 18, 19 Aug. 1920; CWN, 17, 21 Aug. 1920; II, 27 Dec. 1920; RIC County Inspector’s Monthly Report, Cork West Riding, Aug. 1920 (CO 904/112, TNA); WS 744 of Jeremiah Murphy, Michael Courtney, and Denis Mulchinock, 7-9 (BMH); Denny Mullane’s WS 789, 4; Seán Moylan’s WS 838, 97-98 (BMH); Lieutenant-Colonel John M. MacCarthy’s WS 883, 57, 62 (BMH);   

John Winters’s WS 948, 2 (BMH); Patrick McCarthy’s WS 1163, 10-11 (BMH); Michael O’Connell’s WS 1428, 7 (BMH); Lynch (1970), 354; Last Post (1976), 70; Moylan (2004), 56; Derrygallon IRA Memorial; Kanturk IRA Memorial.


Note: A military search party in the Kanturk district mortally wounded Volunteer Patrick Clancy and killed Volunteer John O’Connell while they were leaving Connell’s house. The deaths were possibly military executions. Clancy was prominent both politically and militarily. He was a member of Cork County Council from the Kanturk area. He had also been elected unanimously as vice-chairman of the Kanturk Rural District Council. He had earned added repute among republicans as a political prisoner in Wormwood Scrubbs in England. And since his release he had become deputy vice-commandant of the Cork No. 2 Brigade. 

After High Mass in Kanturk on Wednesday, 18 August, the flag-draped coffin of Paddy Clancy was conveyed by motor to Kilfinnane for interment nearby. The funeral cortege ‘as it left Kanturk was of exceedingly large dimensions, contingents attending from all parts to pay their last respects to a noble young Irishman shot in the prime of life’. Volunteers assembled at various points along the route from Kanturk to Charleville and ‘respectfully saluted the remains as they passed’. The funeral procession was stopped and searched by the military in Charleville, where all businesses were shuttered, and when the cortege arrived at the burial ground near Kilfinnane, Volunteers fired three volleys over the grave. See CE, 19 Aug. 1920.

Volunteer Clancy was a native of Cush near Kilfinnane. He was one of the seven living children (eight born) of the widow Margaret Clancy, who with the aid of two adult sons and three daughters co-residing with her in 1911, continued farming at Cush after the premature death of her husband. Volunteer Clancy had been ‘very active in the movement and a first-class Volunteer officer. He had close associations with my battalion’, recalled Lieutenant-Colonel John M. MacCarthy, adjutant of the East Limerick Brigade, ‘and was in fact one of the originators of the scheme from which grew the East Limerick Flying Column. He had also served for a short time with that unit on its initiation and had then taken up an appointment as creamery manager near Newmarket, Co. Cork. He held office there as battalion commandant and had just been selected to command the North Cork Flying Column then in process of being organised when he met his death.’ MacCarthy saw to it that Clancy received Volunteer military honours: ‘Although the British military and police had full details of our intentions from the papers taken from me in the raid, and [although] the funeral cortege actually passed through the town of Kilfinane [sic], they did not make any appearance at the cemetery [in the townland of Martinstown], and the full military ceremonial was carried out free from interference.’ See Lieutenant-Colonel John M. MacCarthy’s WS 883, 57, 62 (BMH).

Those who had attended Paddy Clancy’s funeral fared less well, however, on their return home. Seán Moylan recalled the immediate aftermath: ‘I returned from the funeral by way of unfrequented bye-roads. The general body of those who attended drove back along the main roads. All of these were held up, searched, and questioned by British military, and all the young men among them were savagely beaten. The effect of this action was to intensify more than ever the support given to Volunteers and to add to their increasing numbers.’ See Seán Moylan’s WS 838, 98 (BMH).  

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