Volunteer Arthur Mulcahy

Volunteer Arthur Mulcahy (aged about 22) of Currabeha, Conna (near Kilcronat and Youghal)

Date of incident: 22 March 1921

Sources: CE, 23 March 1921; CC, 23 March 1921; CCE, 26 March 1921; Military Inquests, WO 35/155A/57 (TNA); William Buckley’s WS 1009, 19 (BMH); Last Post (1976), 83; Conna in History and Tradition (1998), 104-6; Clashaganniv Road (Conna) IRA Monument.  


Note: A farmer’s son, Mulcahy was shot during a British military roundup while allegedly attempting to escape. Perhaps alerted by an ex-soldier from Tallow who had witnessed IRA activity in the vicinity of Kilcronat near Youghal, British forces (including thirty-eight lorries and eight armoured cars according to one report) surrounded the Kilcronat area and then closed the ring in an effort to capture an IRA column. Caught in the ring and killed was Mulcahy, a native of Currabeha in the parish of Knockmourne near Fermoy. See CE, 23 March 1921; William Buckley’s WS 1009, 19 (BMH).

Mulcahy’s body was riddled with bullets not far from his father’s house, which was well known as a haven for IRA men on the run. His body was thrown into the back of a lorry and taken to Fermoy. His father and a sister went to Fermoy the next day in hopes of finding him a prisoner, but they were taken by a chaplain to an outhouse in the old military barracks, where they were shown the body, which had bayonet as well as bullet wounds. At a subsequent military inquest soldiers who had been at Currebeha on the night of 22 March claimed that Mulcahy had been shot while trying to escape, but they failed to explain why the body had numerous bayonet and boot marks. See Military Inquests, WO 35/155A/57 (TNA); Conna in History and Tradition, 104-6.

A report in the Cork County Eagle provided some different details: ‘His body was brought to Fermoy Military Hospital, where it was seen by his relatives. The sisters of [the] deceased came to Fermoy with some clothes and parcels of food, but to their great grief, they found that he was dead. The deceased was a fine specimen of manhood, of athletic build, and a great favourite in the district.’ See CCE, 26 March 1921. A monument on the Clashaganniv Road near Conna marks the spot where Mulcahy was killed.

Volunteer Mulcahy was one of the five children of the Currabeha East farmer William Mulcahy and his wife Hannah; four children (two sons and two daughters) were co-reisident with them in 1911. Arthur was the oldest child then at home. He was buried in the Tallow Church Cemetery in County Waterford.   

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