RIC Constable Hugh McClean
RIC Constable Hugh McClean (aged 21) from Moray, Scotland (Maulbrack near Skibbereen)
Date of incident: 15 May 1921
Sources: CE, 16, 18 May 1921; Weekly Summary of Outrages against the Police (CO 904/148-50, TNA); ‘IRA Intelligence Reports on Civilians Accused of Giving Information to and Associating with British Forces during War of Independence in Counties Cork, Kerry, Waterford, and Limerick’, ca. 1921, CP/4/40 (Military Archives); Cornelius Connolly’s WS 602, 2 (BMH); Abbott (2000), 241; ‘Irish Rebellion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 147.
Note: McClean and another constable were shot in mid-afternoon on 15 May 1921 while out running for recreation. McClean had resigned from the RIC (effective 31 May) but was killed before he could leave for good. The two policemen were shot by men belonging to the Skibbereen Battalion of the IRA at Maulbrack, about two miles outside the town. When McClean was first found, he declared, ‘I’m done’. He had been shot through the lungs and died of his wounds in the Skibbereen workhouse that evening. His father and brother also belonged to the RIC; his brother, who too had submitted his resignation, had intended to leave the force with him at the end of May. Constable McLean’s mother in Scotland had received in the mail a letter (postmarked in Edinburgh) containing a threatening letter and Sinn Féin literature. See Abbott (2000), 241.
A woman named Majorie Young of Bridgetown, Skibbereen, whose name appeared on an IRA list of suspects, reportedly gave information to the crown forces that two IRA officers—Skibbereen Battalion Adjutant O’Brien and Bantry Company O/C Ralph Keyes—had both been seen coming out of Morgan’s Wood, where a ‘Black and Tan’ named McClean had been executed. See ‘IRA Intelligence Reports on Civilians Accused of Giving Information to and Associating with British Forces during War of Independence in Counties Cork, Kerry, Waterford, and Limerick’, ca. 1921, CP/4/40 (Military Archives).