Civilian Patrick O’Sullivan

Civilian Patrick O’Sullivan (aged 17) of Broad Lane, Cork city (Patrick’s Quay, Cork)

Date of incident: 6 Feb. 1921

Sources: CC, 7 Feb. 1921; FJ, 7, 8 Feb. 1921; CE, 8 Feb., 16 June 1921; II, 8 Feb. 1921; Kerryman, 12 Feb. 1921; Nenagh Guardian, 12 Feb. 1921; Military Inquests, WO 35/157A/47 (TNA); Register of Compensation Commission (Ireland) Cases of Private Persons (CO 905/15); Borgonovo (2007), 154.


Note: O’Sullivan was chased and shot by two men armed with revolvers on Patrick’s Quay in Cork city on 6 February 1921. He died of his wounds some hours later in the North Infirmary. He was reportedly shot in the course of an altercation between a man openly hostile to the Black and Tans and the two armed men, who may have been police in mufti. A second young civilian named Patrick O’Shea of Watercourse Road was critically wounded in this incident. Patrick O’Sullivan’s brother Christopher subsequently gave what he claimed was an eyewitness account of the events leading to his brother’s death. At about 6 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, 6 February, he and his deceased brother ‘were standing on the bank of the river at St Patrick’s Quay. A man, apparently drunk, came out of a publichouse across the road, shouting that he didn’t care a ____ about the Black and Tans. He had scarcely uttered the words when two armed men, dressed in civilian clothes, came down the quay, having apparently crossed Patrick’s Bridge. They both had revolvers in their hands, and when he saw them coming, the drunken man ran towards the Harley Street corner. The two men behind started to run in pursuit of him, and the few other people, including the brothers O’Sullivan, who were on the quay at the time, also commenced to run away from the two armed men. These then fired shots from their revolvers—in all about six shots being discharged. One of the bullets struck Patrick O’Sullivan and he fell. Another [bullet] struck a second civilian [Patrick O’Shea].’ Both victims were described as ‘boys’. See CE, 8 Feb. 1921.

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