Civilian Daniel Lucey

Civilian Daniel Lucey (aged about 23) of Macroom (Kilcorney area near Millstreet)

Date of incident: 20 Jan. 1921 (kidnapped, killed, and disappeared as suspected spy by IRA)

Sources: IT, 22 Aug. 1921; Register of Compensation Commission (Ireland) Cases of Private Persons (CO 905/15, TNA); Matthew Kelleher’s WS 1319, 7-8 (BMH); Edward Neville’s WS 1665, 4-5 (BMH); Interview with Charlie Brown, Ernie O’Malley Notebooks, P17b/112 (UCDA); Ó Ruairc (2016), 120.


Note: Daniel Lucey appeared on the list of ‘missing persons’ published in the Irish Times of 22 August 1921. The date of his kidnapping was given there as 20 January 1921. According to Edward Neville’s BMH witness statement, Lucey ‘was visited by two men [i.e., Volunteers] from Donoughmore area disguised as British officers. He was asked if he had seen any of “the boys”—meaning I.R.A. men—lately. He gave his questioners all the information he had, while, with some other men from Rusheen Company, I waited outside the door. He was taken prisoner on the spot and was held prisoner for about a fortnight, during which time he was tried by the brigade staff and sentenced to death. He was executed after a fair trial in Kilcorney area, Millstreet Battalion, Cork II Brigade.’ See Edward Neville’s WS 1665, 4-5 (BMH).

Matthew Kelleher, a native of Kilcorney and an officer (second lieutenant) of the local Volunteer company, recalled that members of the Macroom Battalion of the Cork No. 1 Brigade had placed Lucey in the custody of the Kilcorney Company towards the end of February 1921, and that ‘he was held prisoner in the area for about a week before he was tried as a spy and executed’. See Matthew Kelleher’s WS 1319, 7-8 (BMH). 

Macroom Volunteer leader Charlie Brown also recalled this episode and the victim’s background: ‘Lucey, who was of good family, was married and his brother was a priest. He was of violent temper and he was quarrelsome in disposition. He had fallen out with a few Volunteers in Ballinagree [Ballynagree]. He was seen talking to the Auxies in Macroom, so the lads sent a party of men dressed in British uniforms to his house and he told them about the local lads, so they took him north of Mushera, where they shot him and buried him.’ See Interview with Charlie Brown, Ernie O’Malley Notebooks, P17b/112 (UCDA).

Daniel Lucey was in 1911 one of the ten children of the Macroom agricultural labourer James Lucey and his wife Ellen of 5 Bridewell Lane. Co-residing with them in that year were one daughter and six sons ranging in age from 3 to 19. Daniel Lucey (then aged 13) was the second oldest son living at home. His name appears in the Compensation Commission Register under 21 January 1921, with the notation that British liability was accepted, and with a note that £1,400 was awarded. See Register of Compensation Commission (Ireland) Cases of Private Persons (CO 905/15, TNA).  

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