Civilian William Mohally

Civilian William Mohally (aged 27) of 4 Farran Street, Cork city (Blackrock Road, Cork)

Date of incidents: 19-20 Feb. 1921 (ex-soldier killed as suspected spy by IRA)

Sources: CWE 27 March 1915; CC,  24 April 1915; 9 Sept. 1920 CE, 21 Feb., 23 March 1921; FJ, 21 Feb. 1921; CCE, 26 Feb. 1921; Military Inquests, WO 35/155B/15 (TNA); Michael Murphy’s WS 1547, 37 (BMH); Borgonovo (2007), 44, 53-54, 76-77, 100 (note 71), 179; Murphy (2010), 41.


Note: A night watchman, a ship steward, and an ex-soldier, Mohally was found unconscious on the afternoon of 19 February 1921 in Lower Glanmire Road with bullet wounds to the head; he was hospitalised in serious condition at the South Infirmary. He was removed from the hospital on Sunday, 20 February, and shot dead by the IRA on the Blackrock Road. The Cork Examiner of 23 March 1921 reported: ‘There appeared to be no doubt that he was cruelly done to death because of his friendly associations with the police and military authorities.’ His killers pushed into blankets over his body a notice that read, ‘For a spy there is no escape. I.R.A.’ During the previous autumn Mohally had been badly injured in an attack when working as a night watchman for various shops in MacCurtain Street and Bridge Street.   See Military Inquests, WO 35/155B/15 (TNA).

Mohally was the eldest child (then aged 17) among the four living children (eight born) of the foreman carter Michael Mohally and his wife Nano of 97 Roches Buildings in Cork city. The victim had two younger brothers and a younger sister. He still lived at this address in 1915 when he described himself as a ‘recruiting agent’ for the British forces in 1915.  [Thanks to Jean Prendergast for assistance with this entry.]  The Mohallys were Catholic.

The Irish Revolution Project

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University College Cork, Cork,