Volunteer Stephen Dormon

Volunteer Stephen Dormon (aged about 24) of 23 Evergreen Buildings, Cork city (Douglas Street, Cork)

Date of incident: 23 May 1921

Sources: CE, 24, 25, 27 May 1921; CWN, 28 May, 4 June 1921; Roll of Honour, Cork No. 1 Brigade (Cork Public Museum, Fitzgerald Park, Cork); Last Post (1976), 87; IRA Memorial Plaque, Tower Street, Cork (at junction with Friars Walk).


Note: Dormon and Christopher Walsh, members of the Cork Examiner night staff, were walking home from work at about 3:15 a.m. on 23 May 1921 when a bomb was thrown at them, followed by shooting. Dormon was mortally wounded and Walsh injured less seriously. When the bomb exploded at the corner of Douglas Street and Nicholas Street, it severed one of Dormon’s legs below the knee. Doctors at the South Infirmary amputated the leg in a desperate effort to save his life: ‘He lingered on until about noon, but from the first there was only slight hope that he would recover from the shocking injuries which he sustained.’ See CE, 24 May 1921.

Dormon belonged to E Company of the Second Battalion of the Cork No. 1 Brigade. When his remains were removed from the South Infirmary to St Finbarr’s Church, ‘the coffin was shouldered by his comrades . . . and was followed by a large number of citizens, including many of his colleagues on the staff of this journal’. See CE, 25 May 1921. He was buried in the Republican Plot at St Finbarr’s Cemetery in Cork.

Newspaper reports and other accounts rendered the victim’s name as Dorman, but his gravestone in St Finbarr’s Cemetery has Dormon, and so does the 1911 census. Stephen Dormon was one of the six children (three sons and three daughters) of the young widow Jane Dormon (aged 42 in 1911) of 23 Evergreen Buildings in Cork city. Her children ranged in age from 12 to 20. Stephen (then aged 14) was her fifth child and second son.

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