Civilian Richard Flynn

Civilian Richard Flynn (aged about 60) of Carrigtwohill (west end of Carrigtwohill)

Date of incident: night of 14-15 May 1921 (death recorded 15 May 1921)

Sources: Death Certificate (Midleton District 2, Union of Midleton), 15 May 1921; CE, 16, 24, 28 May, 24 June 1921; CWN, 21 May, 4 June 1921; FJ, 28 May 1921; Irish Bulletin, 5:5 (7 June 1921); MSPC/RO/31 (Military Archives); John Kelleher’s WS 1456, 27 (BMH); Francis Healy’s WS 1694, 5, 17-21 (BMH); name not on Roll of Honour, Cork No. 1 Brigade (Cork Public Museum, Fitzgerald Park, Cork); O’Neill (1975), 67; McCarthy (2008), 136; Midleton IRA Memorial, Main Street, Midleton; Richard Flynn Memorial, Carrigtwohill.  


Note: Richard Flynn’s death certificate indicates that he died at the west end of Carrigtwohill on 15 May 1921 from shock and haemorrhage caused by gunshot wounds, and without mention as to the source of the gunshots. See Death Certificate (District of Midleton 2, Union of Midleton), 15 May 1921. Flynn and one of his sons (a ‘deaf mute’) were taken from their house at Carrigtwohill by the military. The father was shot dead and his son was wounded. Richard Flynn’s cottage was burned down by ‘armed men’ in the early morning hours of 27 May 1921. See CE, 28 May 1921.

An agricultural labourer, Richard Flynn and his wife Catherine were the parents of four living children (five born), all of whom were sons in 1911. Their second son Timothy was listed as a ‘general labourer’ and described in the 1911 census as ‘deaf and dumb’.

According to Kieran McCarthy, Flynn was one of four victims in this British military reprisal. (The others were Michael Ahern, Richard Barry, and John Ryan. Edward McNamara was a fifth victim.) As McCarthy notes, Flynn was an elderly man. See McCarthy (2008), 136. Flynn’s name appears on the Midleton IRA Memorial at the north end of Main Street in Midleton, but it does not appear on the Roll of Honour of the Cork No. 1 Brigade deposited in the Cork Public Museum in Fitzgerald Park in Cork city. Almost certainly, Flynn was not a Volunteer.

But one or more of his four sons probably belonged to the Volunteers, and the Flynns were probably a republican family. A Richard Flynn later appears on the membership roll of the Carrigtwohill Company of the Fourth Battalion of the Cork No. 1 Brigade and was in receipt of an IRA pension. See MSPC/RO/31 (Military Archives). The youngest of the four sons of the murdered Richard Flynn was also named Richard and was aged 13 at the time of the 1911 census and so about 23 years old when his father was killed. Thus it is quite possible that the Cameron Highlanders who murdered Richard Flynn Sr and wounded his son Timothy the deaf mute were looking for Volunteer Richard Flynn Jr, who later became the recipient of the IRA pension and appeared on the Carrigtwohill Company roll.   

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