Volunteer Michael Galvin

Volunteer Michael Galvin (aged about 30) of Clochmacow in Kilmurry parish (Lissardagh near Macroom)

Date of incident: 22 Aug. 1920

Sources: CC, 24 Aug. 1920; FJ, 24 Aug. 1920; CCE, 28 Aug. 1920; Charles Browne’s WS 873, 21-22 (BMH); James Murphy’s WS 1633, 11 (BMH); John O’Mahoney’s WS 1662, 11-13 (BMH); Mollie Cunningham’s WS 1681, 3 (BMH); William Powell’s WS 1699, 9-11 (BMH); Daniel Corkery’s WS 1719, 12-13 (BMH); Twohig (1979), photo between 32 and 33; Ó hÉalaithe (2014), 155-56, 273, 353; irishmedals.org (accessed 28 July 2014); IRA Monument, The Square, Macroom; Memorial Plaque, Entrance to Kilmurry Graveyard.


Note: Galvin was killed on 22 August 1920 in an abortive ambush at Lissardagh by the Kilmurry and Crookstown companies of the Macroom Battalion (Cork No. 2 Brigade) against a military lorry carrying RIC County Inspector William Trevor Rigg and his party, who had come to investigate the death of RIC Sergeant Maunsell on the previous day. The Volunteers called on the British forces to surrender, but instead they opened fire on those lying in ambush. After an exchange lasting perhaps ninety minutes, the Volunteers were forced to withdraw, taking with them their casualties—Galvin (dead), Daniel O’Leary (wounded), and Denis Long (wounded). They quickly arranged for Fr Cotter to anoint Galvin’s body and secretly buried him in Kilmurry churchyard for fear of reprisals. About six weeks later, his body was exhumed and removed to the family burial ground at Kilmurry. See John O’Mahoney’s WS 1662, 11-13 (BMH); Ó hÉalaithe (2014), 155-56. RIC County Inspector Rigg had a ‘miraculous escape’ at Lissardagh—a bullet passed through his hat. Sergeant Ruane was ‘more seriously wounded’, several other policemen less so. Ruane suffered pellet wounds to his head and neck. See FJ, 24 Aug. 1920; CCE, 28 Aug. 1920.

The name of Volunteer Michael Galvin appears on the Republican Monument in The Square of Macroom, where the date of his death is given incorrectly as 25 August 1920. Charlie Browne, adjutant of the Macroom Battalion, later described Galvin as ‘one of the battalion’s finest soldiers’. He was the quartermaster of H Company at the time of his death. See Charles Browne’s WS 873, 21-22 (BMH). One of the five sons of the widowed farmer Mary Galvin, Volunteer Michael Galvin left a wife and two children; he was interred in Kilmurry Graveyard, where a plaque at its entrance indicates that he was killed in action as a member of the Kilmurry Volunteer Company on 22 August 1920. 



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