Civilian James Devoy

Civilian James Devoy of Ballincollig (Killbawn near Aherla)

Date of incident: shortly after 11 July 1921 (executed by IRA as suspected spy and disappeared)

Sources: Application of Kate Devoy to Irish Grants Committee (CO 762/83/11), 14 Jan. 1929; Patrick Cronin’s WS 710, 1-2 (BMH); O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), 454.


Note: Three civilians were executed by the IRA at its Killbawn prison—James Devoy, William McCarthy, and David Nagle. All three of them, insisted former Volunteer and Killbawn prison guard Patrick Cronin, were giving information to British forces. See Patrick Cronin’s WS 710, 1-2 (BMH). Devoy’s wife Kate later applied to the Irish Grants Committee (IGC) for £1,500 in compensation for the loss of her husband. She asserted that he had been arrested by ‘armed Irregular forces shortly after the Truce, taken from his home, and was never seen or heard of again’. A veteran of the British army in the First World War and an army pensioner afterwards (with £1 a week), James Devoy had been employed in the Ballincollig Military Barracks where he had earned £3 10s. a week. His wife remarked, ‘I could not prove the murder of my husband.’ This was a problem for the next of kin of a number of those disappeared. See Application of Kate Devoy to IGC (CO 762/83/11), 14 Jan. 1929. O’Halpin and Ó Corráin suggest that Devoy in 1911 may have been the inmate of this name returned in the 1911 census at Danesfort Industrial School outside Upton, Co. Cork. In contrast to his wife in her compensation claim, they return his date of death as 31 May 1921. See O’Halpin and Ó Corráin (2020), 454.

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