RIC Constable John Cyril MacDonald

RIC Constable John Cyril MacDonald (aged 28) from London (Cove Street, Cork city)

Date of incident: 17 April 1921

Sources: CE, 23 April 1921; CC, 23 April 1921; II, 23 April 1921; FJ, 23 April 1921; Weekly Summary of Outrages against the Police (CO 904/148-50, TNA); Military Inquests, WO 35/154/33 (TNA); Michael Murphy’s WS 1547, 41 (BMH); Abbott (2000), 222; Leeson (2011), 206-7; Kingston (2013), 216. 


Note: Stationed at Union Quay Barracks in Cork city, MacDonald was shot and badly wounded on 17 April 1921 while in plain clothes, visiting a friend, and walking with a woman in Cove Street, near the entrance to St Nicholas church. Described by Cork city Volunteer leader Michael Murphy as ‘a particularly obnoxious individual’, MacDonald was shot in the face, fracturing the lower jaw and the spine at the neck. He was assisted to a nearby house by his female companion and later taken to a hospital. MacDonald lived long enough to tell an RIC constable who was a patient in the same hospital ward what had happened to him. According to this constable, MacDonald stated that ‘he was walking along with a girl friend when two men jumped on his back, pinned his arms behind him, and took his revolver away from him. Another civilian stood by him pointing a revolver, but [MacDonald] . . . tried to knock it away, and in doing so, he was shot in the face. He collapsed on the ground, and the civilians fired shots all round his head, but none took effect.’ See Leeson (2011), 206-7. MacDonald nevertheless died of his wounds on 22 April in the Cork Military Hospital. He had been a member of the RIC for only four months; previously, he had ben a soldier.

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