Volunteer Jeremiah Casey

Volunteer Jeremiah Casey (aged 17) of Derryfineen (Doire Finin or Derryfineen, Reananerree)

Date of incident: 3 Jan. 1921

Sources: FJ, 5 Jan. 1921; II, 5 Jan. 1921; CCE, 8 Jan. 1921; Nenagh Guardian, 8 Jan. 1921; Military Inquests, WO 35/147A/50 (TNA); MSPC/RO/36 (Military Archives); Patrick J. Lynch’s WS 1543, 11 (BMH); Ó Suílleabhaín (1965), 160-63; Last Post (1976), 78; Ó hÉalaithe (2014), 143-45, 274.


Note: Auxiliaries from Macroom descended in five lorries on a cluster of houses at Doire Finin in Reananerree townland. The inmates scattered from a house there. One of the fleeing men, Volunteer Daniel Casey, succeeded in hiding a box with ammunition and gelignite under some moss, but his younger brother Jeremiah and two companions encountered a group of Auxiliaries who fired on them after they had failed to halt as ordered. The younger Casey was struck by three bullets that fatally wounded him in the abdomen and wrist. His companions carried him back to the house on a stretcher, where he died about two and a half hours afterwards. He was buried at Ballyvourney on 6 January, with the result that no postmortem was carried out on the body. Ó Suílleabhaín mentioned the death of another young man on whose farm a rusty gun had been found. He was reportedly brought to Macroom Castle as a prisoner, tortured, and killed, according to Daniel Casey, who was also briefly a prisoner there in the aftermath of the incident at Doire Finin earlier that day. See Military Inquests, WO 35/147A/50 (TNA); Ó Suílleabhaín (1965), 160-63.

One aspect of the death of Jeremiah Casey left an indelible impression on Volunteer and neighbour Jamie Moynihan, who recalled it many years later: ‘Realising that Jeremiah was dying from his injuries, Dan [Casey] asked the Auxiliaries for permission to see his brother, but he was refused. . . . It is practically impossible to understand the mentality of a human being who refuses a quiet and honourable man permission to see his dying brother.’ See Ó hÉalaithe (2014), 144.

The status of Jeremiah Casey as a Volunteer is now certain. In his witness statement Patrick J. Lynch discusses the killing of Volunteer William Hegarty and civilian Michael Lynch on 5 September 1920 by machine-gun fire from the supposedly broken-down military lorry outside Ballyvourney. Lynch then says: ‘The rest of the [IRA] section ran in all directions and succeeded in escaping. These included Francis Creedon, Mick Dineen, Jeremiah Casey, Jeremiah Lynch, and Paddy Taylor.’ See Patrick J. Lynch’s WS 1543, 11 (BMH). Ó hÉalaithe also calls Casey a Volunteer. See Ó hÉalaithe (2014), 274. And IRA pension records indicate that Casey was a member of A Company of the Eighth Battalion of the Cork No. 1 Brigade. See MSPC/RO/36 (Military Archives).

Jeremiah Casey was one of the four living children (five born) of the Derryfineen farmer Michael Casey and his wife Julia. Aged 7 in 1911, he had two younger sisters and an older brother (then aged 12), who later became a Volunteer.   

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