RIC Constable James Connor
RIC Constable James Connor (aged 24) from County Tipperary (Ballinhassig)
Date of incident: 7 July 1921
Sources: CE, 8 July 1921; CWN, 16 July 1921; Military Inquests, WO 35/148/16 (TNA); John Barrett’s WS 1538, 3-4 (BMH); Abbott (2000), 263; ‘The Irish Rebelllion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 150.
Note: Constable Connor was out walking on 7 July 1921 when a party of Volunteers attacked the RIC barracks in Ballinhassig, to which he was attached. ‘When the attack ceased, a number of the police went out to look for their missing comrade, whose body was found on the side of the road, riddled with bullets.’ See CE, 8 July 1921.
Former Volunteer John Barrett recalled this attack, led by Michael Walsh, captain of the Ballinhassig Company: ‘We numbered twenty-two men, all armed with rifles. We knew the habits of the garrison. They usually came out in the early morning, and after lining up for a few minutes, sat on a couple of seats outside the building. Our intention was to attack them as they sat outside. On this particular morning about nine R.I.C. men came out as usual, but one of them left the vicinity at once and proceeded along a road out of the village. Mick Walsh and a Volunteer left our party and followed him. It had been arranged that as soon as Walsh and the Volunteer had intercepted this policeman by opening fire on him, we would open the attack on the R.I.C. ouside the barracks. After a short time we heard the shots fired by Walsh and the Volunteer as they shot the policeman dead. The R.I.C. outside the barracks also heard them and rushed into the barracks before we opened fire. As they got inside, we opened fire on the windows, firing five rounds each. The R.I.C. returned our fire with machine-guns and rifles. We withdrew as they did so.’ See John Barrett’s WS 1538, 3-4 (BMH).
Constable Connor had served in the RIC for less than eight months; he had previously been a soldier and a labourer. He left a wife and two children.