Volunteer Bernard Moynihan

Volunteer Bernard Moynihan (aged about 19) of Shanakill near Kilcorney (near Rathcoole Bridge)

Date of incident: 30 June 1921

Sources: Compensation Registers, WO 35/163 (TNA); Irish Bulletin, 7 July 1921; SS, 9 July 1921; CWN, 9 July 1921; Rebel Cork’s FS, 169-77; O’Keefe in Ni Chadla (1994), 27; McCall (2010), 153; Ó hÉalaithe (2014), 359; http://www.millstreet.ie/blog/2014/06/16/on-this-day-1921-the-rathcoole-ambush (accessed 12 Nov. 2015); IRA Memorial, Main Street, Millstreet.


Note: On Thursday evening, 30 June 1920, in the vengeful aftermath of the IRA ambush at Rathcoole, a party of Auxiliaries ‘fired on two youths who were cutting hay on Murphy’s farm at Rathcoole and killed Bernard Moynihan of the Kilcorney Company. The wood at Rathcoole was burned too.’ See Rebel Cork’s FS, 177. Moynihan was ‘the only son of a small farmer’ at Shanakill near Kilcorney.

Very different reports from the British side portrayed his death as having occurred as a legitimate response to an attack. It was said that Moynihan had been shot by some Auxiliaries returning from Banteer to Millstreet; the Auxiliaries claimed that a bomb had been thrown at one of their lorries at Rathcoole Bridge, and that they had returned fire. See SS, 9 July 1921. The Auxiliaries also claimed that they had shot Moynihan only after he had ignored their order to halt. The British declared that it was not practical to hold a military court of inquiry into Moynihan’s death. See Compensation Registers, WO 35/163 (TNA). Volunteer Michael Dineen of the same IRA company as Moynihan had been shot dead while in British custody a week earlier.

Bernard Moynihan was in 1911 the only son of the farmer Cornelius Moynihan and his wife Johannah of Shanakill (Kilcorney). Bernard (then aged 9) and his two sisters had been born in America. Their parents must have returned from there.

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