Volunteer Section Commander Maurice Moore

Volunteer Section Commander Maurice Moore (aged about 26) of Tiknock, Queenstown/Cobh (Clonmult)

Date of incident: 20 Feb. 1921 (executed by crown forces at Cork Military Detention Barracks on 28 April 1921)

Sources: CE, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 Feb., 29 April 1921; II, 29 April 1921; Military Inquests, WO 155A/53 and WO 35/155B/18 (TNA); Seán O’Mahony Papers, MS 44,047/3 (NLI); Joseph Aherne’s WS 1367, 52-58 (BMH); Michael Kearney’s WS 1418, 21-23 (BMH); Patrick J. Whelan’s WS 1449, 51-58 (BMH); John P. O’Connell’s WS 1444, 15 (BMH); John Kelleher’s WS 1456, 23-24 (BMH); Patrick J. Higgins’s WS 1467, 3-7 (BMH); Diarmuid O’Leary’s WS 1589, 4-12 (BMH); Roll of Honour, Cork No. 1 Brigade (Cork Public Museum, Fitzgerald Park, Cork); O’Neill (2006), 62, 96-100; Borgonovo (2007), 88; McCarthy (2008), 232; ‘The Irish Rebellion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 84-85, 143; Rebel Cork’s FS, 190-95; Sheehan (2011), 125; UCC IRA Memorial; Midleton IRA Memorial, Main Street, Midleton; Cork No. 1 Brigade Memorial, Holy Rosary Cemetery, Midleton; Clonmult Ambush Site Memorial; Clonmult Village Memorial; www.irishwarmemorials.iehttp://irishvolunteers.org/cork-county-gaol-ira-volunteers-executed-memorial/ (accessed 3 Nov. 2015); http://midletonheritage.com/2015/12/11/few-families-suffered-as-we-did-war-of-independence-pension-files-associated-with-midleton/ (accessed 13 March 2016).  


Note: A member of A Company of the Fourth Battalion of the Cork No. 1 Brigade, Volunteer Maurice Moore was executed at Cork Military Detention Barracks on 28 April 1921 and buried in the former grounds of the Cork County Gaol. He was one of the seven children (six sons and a daughter) of the naval pensioner, general labourer, and widower Michael Moore of Tiknock in Queenstown. Maurice Moore was the fourth son.

The executions of Moore and O’Sullivan resonated with nationalists in Queenstown/Cobh and elicited religious and political responses. On the day following these two executions Cobh priests celebrated Masses for the repose of the executed Volunteers’ souls. At the Rushbrooke Convent Chapel the celebrant Fr Peter Fouhy looked out and saw that ‘an overflowing congregation was present, large numbers of the dockyard workers among them’. At the Solemn Requiem Mass for Moore and O’Sullivan at St Colman’s Cathedral, ‘there was a very large congregation present. All the shops in the town were closed.’ See CE, 29 April 1921.

Maurice Moore came from a strong republican family. He was born at Tiknock, Cobh, in 1897. He was educated at the Presentation Brothers’ Schools in Cobh and later worked at the Haulbowline Dockyards as a plumber’s helper. He joined the Volunteers in 1916 and became one of the most active members of the Cobh Company. Three of his brothers also became enthusiastic Volunteers. Maurice Moore participated in the capture of Carrigtwohill RIC Barracks—the first RIC barracks to be captured ‘in an armed engagement’ by the IRA during the War of Independence—and later took part in the capture of Cloyne RIC Barracks as well. He was among the original members of the Flying Column of the Fourth (Midleton) Battalion of the Cork No. 1 Brigade and participated in its numerous guerrilla successes under the command of Diarmuid Hurley until his capture in the disastrous Clonmult ambush. See http://irishvolunteers.org/cork-county-gaol-ira-volunteers-executed-memorial/ (accessed 3 Nov. 2015).

In the view of the local Garda sergeant, the death of Maurice Moore worsened his father Michael Moore’s precarious financial condition, for the father, who was mostly unemployed and suffered ‘from nerves’ and ‘general debility’, had been partly dependent (£3 per week) on Maurice’s income from his work at Haulbowline. See Cobh Garda Sergeant James Phelan to Cobh Garda Inspector, 20 Feb. 1924.

The sergeant pointed out in April 1924: ‘(1) The applicant is a widower since 1904. (2) He has three children in America, but be receives nothing from them. He has one son married in the house, but he does not support him. He has two other sons in the house, but he states they give him nothing. (3) He is still receiving the naval pension [£20 per annum]. (4) He has no other means of support. (5) The house is a labourer’s cottage with a plot of land attached . . . (6) In my opinion he is not well circumstanced, and as far as I can ascertain, he has no other source of income. His sons [at home] are of a reckless disposition and would be disinclined to support him.’ See Phelan to Cobh Garda Inspector, 2 April 1924, at http://midletonheritage.com/2015/12/11/few-families-suffered-as-we-did-war-of-independence-pension-files-associated-with-midleton/ (accessed 13 March 2016). The pension records also show, however, that Maurice Moore had received about £120 from the White Cross because of his son’s execution.   

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