IRA Soldier Daniel Clancy

IRA Soldier Daniel Clancy (aged 24) of Farrangeel near Kanturk (Spike Island, Cork Harbour)

Date of incident: night of 10-11 Nov. 1921

Sources: CE, 12, 13 Nov. 1922; CWN, 19 Nov. 1921; Military Courts of Inquiry, WO 35/147A/61 (TNA); WS 810 of Timothy Herlihy et al., 19-21 (BMH); Last Post (3rd ed.), 143; Keane (2017), 280-81, 414; Memorial of Cork No. 2 Brigade, Derrygallon, near Kanturk.


Note: Anti-Treaty IRA soldier Daniel Clancy, previously an internee on Spike Island, died of acute appendicitis and septicaemia on 11 November 1921. See CWN, 19 Nov. 1921; Military Courts of Inquiry, WO 35/147A/61 (TNA). Daniel Clancy, the youngest son of Peter Clancy of Farrangeel near Kanturk, died on 11 November 1921 at Victoria Military Hospital in Cork city. His remains were removed on Saturday, 12 November, by train to Kanturk, arriving there at 3:30 p.m. His funeral took place from Kanturk Catholic church on Sunday, 13 November, at 2 p.m., with burial following at Clonfert (via Newmarket, Co. Cork). See CE, 12 Nov. 1921 (advance notice). Clonfert is a civil parish lying in the barony of Duhallow.

A memorial Mass was celebrated on the first annivesary of his death. See CE, 13 Nov. 1922.

His death came after punishment by exposure and a wounding on the night of 10-11 November 1921 in the moat on Spike Island, as described many years later by his fellow inmate Timothy Herlihy: ‘In Spike Island were quite a large number of our boys, many high-ranking officers. . . . We resisted the British by every means at our disposal, while the treatment the British meted out to us prisoners was brutal. A hunger-strike lasting eight days was, I believe, stopped from outside. Then we broke up and burned our huts. I took part in a fierce fight with soldiers armed with batons; our boys had pieces of boards. Casualties on both sides were serious. The soldiers were called off by a high-ranking British officer in kilts. Rushing into the compound, I heard him shout, “Soldiers, stop at once”. “Don’t fire”, he ordered the machine gunners overlooking our position. Eventually, the soldiers drove us out of our partly destroyed huts and into the compound nearby. Here they lined us up by force in some kind of order. Surrounded by guards with fixed bayonets and machine guns, we were held here until about 5 p.m. Then we were marched out under heavy guard to the “moat”. This moat was a space about 15 yards wide between high walls running a circle about our huts and compound. Here we suffered a wet night (without water or food since morning), hunched against the walls for shelter. I belonged to No. 9 hut, and being a happy family, we managed to keep together in the “moat”. Watching the movements of our guards stationed high above us, we noticed two particular soldiers watching one position as if they had special orders. Eventually, we noticed those two soldiers moving our way. . . . We informed Dick Barrett of the special watching soldiers. “Good,” he said, “we’ll stay here until dark, then we will slip off and fool ’em.” When darkness came, we followed Dick Barrett and Co., slipping away one by one. Unfortunately, some more of our boys took our evacuated position. These men, weary, sat down, backs against the wall, legs out. Then about 2 a.m. those two soldiers opened rapid fire on that position, hitting one man, shooting off his big toe. Soldiers charged in, but at the cry “man wounded”, a stretcher came after a long delay and the wounded man was taken away. Sad to say, he died from the effects.’ See WS 810 of Timothy Herlihy et al., 19-21 (BMH). This was Daniel Clancy, a member of the Fifth Company of the Kanturk Battalion of the Cork No. 2 Brigade. See Memorial of Cork No. 2 Brigade, Derrygallon, near Kanturk. He was buried in Kanturk. See Last Post (3rd ed.), 143.  

Daniel Clancy was in 1911 one of the eight living children (nine born) of the Farrangeel farmer Peter Clancy and his wife Julia. Living with them at house 2 in Farrangeel townland in that year were five of their eight children—four sons and a daughter, ranging in age from 13 to 25. Daniel Clancy (then aged 14) was the youngest of their four sons still living at home. 

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