Volunteer Lieutenant Timothy Fitzgerald
Volunteer Lieutenant Timothy Fitzgerald (aged 18) of Mawmore in Killowen parish near Bandon (Brinny)
Date of incident: 29 Aug. 1920
Sources: CE, 1 Sept. 1920; II, 1 Sept. 1920; CWN, 4 Sept. 1920; CCE, 4 Sept. 1920; SS, 17 Sept. 1920; Frank Neville’s WS 443, 4-5 (BMH); Tadhg O’Sullivan’s WS 792, 5 (BMH); William Desmond’s WS 832, 18 (BMH); Laurence Sexton’s WS 1290, 6 (BMH); Michael J. Crowley’s WS 1603, 7 (BMH); Charles O’Donoghue’s WS 1607, 3, 10 (BMH); Daniel Canty’s WS 1619, 12-13 (BMH); Michael Riordan’s WS 1638, 13-14 BMH); James Doyle’s WS 1640, 7-8 (BMH); Rebel Cork’s FS, 207; Barry (1949, 1989), 19, 236; Deasy (1973), 136; Last Post (1976), 70; ‘The Irish Rebellion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 138; irishmedals.org (accessed 28 July 2014).
Note: In the immediate aftermath of the Brinny ambush on 29 August 1920, a group of Volunteers from the Bandon Battalion of the West Cork Brigade, whose position ‘was given away by a spy’, were attacked from the rear by a military party under Lieutenant G. T. Hotblack of the Essex Regiment (killed later at Crossbarry). In this exchange the Volunteer Tim Fitzgerald of the Mount Pleasant Company was killed. He was the first member of the West Cork Brigade ‘to lose his life in action’. See Deasy (1973), 136. Attending at the military barracks in Bandon, Michael Fitzgerald of Mawmore near Bandon identified the dead Volunteer as the body of his son Timothy, killed by the military at Brinny. No jurors showed up at the courthouse for an inquest, and it had to be abandoned by Deputy Coroner George Horgan, a solicitor. See II, 1 Sept. 1920. The IRA later learned that the planned ambush at Brinny had been disclosed to the British by an informer named Dwyer, who was eventually captured and executed by the IRA. See Tadhg O’Sullivan’s WS 792, 5 (BMH).
Charlie O’Donoghue, the quartermaster of the Bandon Battalion of the West Cork Brigade, described Fitzgerald as ‘a fine Volunteer officer, young (18 years), athletic, fearless. His death was all the more tragic as he was an only son.’ He ‘was given a Volunteer funeral to [Old] Kilbrogan Cemetery, where Charlie Hurley, Brigade O/C, gave an oration’. See Charles O’Donoghue’s WS 1607, 3 (BMH). Fitzgerald was the first lieutenant of the Tinker’s Cross Company of the Bandon Battalion at the time of his death. He was one of the four children of the Mawmore agricultural labourer Michael Fitzgerald and his wife Mary. Volunteer Fitzgerald’s comrades and fellow parishioners soon commemorated him: ‘Mass for the eternal repose of the soul of Lieutenant Fitzgerald, I.R.A., was offered up here [in Newcestown] by the Rev Fr [Denis] Bernard, P.P., on Monday [13 September 1920], and was attended by most of the parishioners and Volunteers.’ See SS, 17 Sept. 1920.