Volunteer Liam Hoare

Volunteer Liam Hoare (aged 21) of Beanfield near Youghal (Ballymacoda)

Date of incident: 8 April 1921

Sources: CE, 9, 11, 13 April 1921; II, 9 April 1921; FJ, 13 April 1921; CWN, 16 April 1921; CCE, 16 April 1921; Military Inquests, WO 35/151A/75 (TNA); Florence O’Donoghue Papers, MS 31,444/4 (NLI); ‘The Irish Rebellion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 145; Midleton IRA Memorial, Main Street, Midleton; Celtic Cross Hoare Memorial, Ballymacoda.


Note: Volunteer William Hoare was shot by crown forces in the village of Ballymacoda on the afternoon of 8 April 1921. By one account the shooting took place at the rear of the public house of James Gumbleton of Ballymacoda. Another account of Hoare’s death indicated that he had been cycling while partly dressed in an IRA uniform, and that he was shot and killed when he refused to obey an order to halt by police and tried to run away. See Military Inquests, WO 35/151A/75 (TNA). According to the Cork County Eagle, Hoare fired four shots at one of the police constables who was chasing him, and the constable nearest to him retunred the fire and killed him. An automatic pistol, two revolvers, and revolver cartridges were found on Hoare’s body. See CCE, 16 April 1921.

Hoare’s remains were brought to St Ita’s Church at Gortroe late on Saturday night, 9 April. ‘The coffin was draped with a republican flag and covered with a number of beautiful artificial wreaths. All through the day and evening of yesterday [11 April] crowds continually visited the church from all the surrounding districts, [with] relays standing guard till one o’clock to-day [12 April], when the funeral took place.’ After the Solemn Requiem Mass attended by ‘a most imposing assemblage’, an immense funeral procession formed: ‘The procession was brought up by a vast concourse of the general public, and a start was made for Ballymacoda, nearly four miles distant. So many participated that it took over two hours to cover the distance, the procession being about two miles long at the finish. Proceeding to the churchyard, the remains were laid to rest close to the scene of his death and in the same consecrated ground as [the Fenian Peter] O’Neill Crowley and his own comrade Richard Hegarty of Garryvoe, killed in the recent Clonmult conflict, with whom he is said to have expressed a wish to be buried if anything happened to him.’ Surprisingly, ‘not a single soldier or policeman put in an appearance during the day’. After Hoare’s grave had been filled in and the three final volleys fired, ‘large numbers visited the spot where he met his death in the yard behind Mrs [Hanna] Gumbleton’s house, through which he made a dash when seeking to escape’. See CE, 13 April 1921. Subsequently, James Gumbleton’s licensed premises were burned down. His son Patrick, chairman of the Youghal Rural District Council, ‘has been wanted for some time’. See CE, 28 April 1921.

Volunteer Hoare was a nephew of Mrs J. M. Collins of Youghal and of John Hoare of Cork city. He had come to Beanfield a few years earlier to live with his aunt and uncle, the farmer William Cunningham and his wife Margaret of Beanfield. ‘He was a fine young fellow, aged about 24, and very popular in the neighbourhood, where he took an active part in the Sinn Fein movement. . . . He leaves two sisters younger than himself to mourn his loss, his father and mother being dead.’ See CE, 11 April 1921. The Celtic Cross memorial at Ballymacoda gives Volunteer Hoare’s age as 21 at the time of his death.  

The Irish Revolution Project

Scoil na Staire /Tíreolaíocht

University College Cork, Cork,