Civilian Daniel Lynch

Civilian Daniel Lynch (aged about 26) of Callatrim near Bandon (near Killeady quarry in Ballinhassig district)

Date of incident: 21 or 22 Jan. 1921 (executed and disappeared as suspected spy by IRA)

Sources: William Norris’s WS 595, 4 (BMH); Tadhg O’Sullivan’s WS 792, 5 (BMH); John O’Driscoll’s WS 1250, 21 (BMH); William McCarthy’s WS 1255, 1 (BMH); Seán Murphy’s WS 1445, 10 (BMH); 1911 MCI, under John Lynch of Callatrim; Bielenberg, Borgonovo, and Ó Ruairc (2015), 176.


Note: Perhaps the youngest of the sons of John Lynch of Callatrim, Daniel Lynch was one of a series of suspected spies killed by the IRA in West Cork at about the same time. He was executed by the Timoleague Company of the First Battalion of the Cork No. 3 Brigade. He was secretly buried close to the quarry at Killeady (local memory supplied by John Desmond of Bandon). According to Desmond, Lynch is said to have given information to British forces concerning the Brinny ambush of late August 1920, which had resulted in the first fatality (Volunteer Timothy Fitzgerald of Gaggan) among members of the Cork No. 3 Brigade. Tadhg O’Sullivan, quartermaster of the Bandon IRA Battalion and later of the Cork No. 3 Brigade, had the impression that Denis Dwyer (see previous entry) was the spy executed for having provided information after the Brinny ambush that led to the death of Volunteer Fitzgerald, but it appears that this impression was erroneous. See Tadhg O’Sullivan’s WS 792, 5 (BMH).

Betraying information about the Brinny ambush seems not to have been Lynch’s only sin in the eyes of Bandon Volunteers, to judge from the later remarks of Florry Begley to Ernie O’Malley: ‘Another spy, Lynch, was noticed going around, and we noticed that the people he talked to were bitter and, we suspected, active enemies of ours in Bandon. One day he came to a lad and he said he had heard there was to be a raid that night and not to sleep at home. The lad passed on the word, but the other fellows mentioned in Bandon did not change their houses that night and were captured in the raids. This young lad did not sleep at home and so escaped. That was enough for us. The spy was court-martialled and was shot. Why did he pass on the word [about the raids]? Maybe to make friends with this young lad, for he [Lynch] had been going around with younger Volunteers and had promised them revolvers, and he had been anxious to make contacts with young Volunteers.’ See Bielenberg, Borgonovo, and Ó Ruairc (2015), 176. 

Daniel Lynch was in 1911 one of the eleven living children (thirteen born) of the Callatrim agricultural labourer John Lynch and his wife Mary. Only five of their children (three daughters and two sons) were still residing at home in that year. Daniel Lynch (then aged 16) was among them. The Lynches were Catholic.

The Irish Revolution Project

Scoil na Staire /Tíreolaíocht

University College Cork, Cork,