Civilian Leo Corby

Civilian Leo Corby (aged about 26) of 19 St Patrick’s Place in Cork city (Castleblath near Castletownroche)

Date of incident: 19 June 1921 (killed and disappeared by IRA)

Sources: CE, 13 July 1921; CC, 14 July 1921; CWN, 23 July 1921; II, 8 March 1922; Register of Compensation Commission (Ireland) Cases of Private Persons (CO 905/15); Military Inquests, WO 35/148/27 (TNA); Hart (1998), 299. 


Note: A dentist and a renowned baritone singer, Corby failed to halt at an IRA roadblock, was shot, and was disappeared. He had been travelling by motorcycle from his branch practice in Cashel back to Cork city on 19 June 1921 and was seen to have passed through Mitchelstown. He was killed at Castleblagh townland in Ballyhooly parish and initially buried at night in Killathy Graveyard but was later re-interred in Ballyhooly Catholic Cemetery. See Military Inquests, WO 35/148/27 (TNA).

His father Dr Henry Corby, a professor of midwifery at University College Cork, later received a letter on 11 July 1921 from the commandant at the headquarters of the First Southern Division of the IRA (Liam Lynch), providing information about the fate of his son Leo, whom the IRA claimed had been shot accidentally in the course of IRA military operations on 19 June 1921. See CWN, 23 July 1921. Leo Corby’s death notice appeared in the Cork Constitution, 14 July 1921. Corby was granted liberty to assume the death of his son and to take out letters of administration. He was later conducted to Ballyhooly, where his son had been reburied, and the remains were handed over to his relatives. See II, 8 March 1922.

Leo Corby was one of the apparently four children of Dr Henry Corby of 19 St Patrick’s Place in the parish of St Ann’s Shandon, Cork. A native of Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Henry Corby had acquired two medical degrees (M.D. and M.Ch.) and come to teach midwifery at UCC. His house on St Patrick’s Place, with as many as fifteen rooms, was a small mansion, run with the services of a parlor maid and a cook. He was affiliated with the Maternity Hospital at 17 Bachelors Quay in Cork, an institution established for the education of nurses and for affording free medical treatment to poor women in their own homes during their confinement. His older son John as well as his younger son Leo became dentists. His son Leo was 16 years old in 1911 and was the youngest of the four children.

The Irish Revolution Project

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University College Cork, Cork,