Na Fianna Éireann Member Patrick John (Percy) Hannafin

Na Fianna Éireann Member Patrick John (Percy) Hannafin (aged 19 or 20) of 17 Nelson Street, Tralee, Co. Kerry (Tralee)

Date of incident: ca. 21 Jan. 1922

Sources: CE, 23, 28 Jan., 3 Feb. 1922; II, 23 Jan. 1922; FJ, 1 Feb. 1922; Kerry People, 28 Jan., 4 Feb. 1922; http://www.irishmedals.ie/IRA-Killed.php (accessed 21 Feb. 2018); https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/admin2fr/fian-percy-hannifin-commemoration-jan-11-tralee-t15338.html (accessed 22 Feb. 2018). 


Note: While guarding a meeting of IRA men along with other members of a lookout detail, Percy Hannafin, adjutant of the Kerry No. 1 Brigade of Na Fianna Éireann, engaged a party of Black and Tans who had parked a Crossley tender on the street in Tralee. In the exchange of fire Hannafin was fatally wounded in the head and died some days later (on 27 January 1922) in the Mercy Hospital in Cork city. See CE, 28 Jan. 1922. His body was returned from Cork city to Tralee for burial. See CE, 3 Feb. 1922; http://www.irishmedals.ie/IRA-Killed.php (accessed 21 Feb. 2018).

The Freeman’s Journal of 1 February 1922 reported: ‘The death in a Cork hospital, from wounds received in Tralee, of Mr Percy Hannafin, Adjutant, Kerry No. 1 Brigade Fianna, evoked feelings of deepest regret in Tralee and deep sympathy with his relatives. The remains arrived from Cork by motor on Saturday night [28 January] and were escorted by large numbers of Fianna boys and Volunteers to St John’s Mortuary. Solemn Requiem High Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated on Sunday morning [29 January], and in the funeral, which was to Rath, upwards of 800 Volunteers and Fianna boys marched in processional order, while many thousands of people joined in the cortege.’ See FJ, 1 Feb. 1922. In its report the Kerry People called this funeral ‘the largest and most impressive ever witnessed in Tralee’. See Kerry People, 4 Feb. 1922.

There had been ‘a pitched battle’ between crown forces and a large number of armed republicans in the streets of Tralee on Saturday night, 21 January 1922. ‘The town was in fact in a state of siege; not in the worst period of the Terror, says our [Irish Independent] correspondent, were there such scenes.’ This outbreak of violence was ‘attributed to an attempt made on the previous evening to capture a motor car from them [i.e., the Black and Tans], during which one sergeant and one civilian were wounded’. See II, 23 Jan. 1922. See also CE, 23 Jan. 1922. It seems likely that Percy Hannfin was wounded in the violence that shook Tralee on 21 January, though there could have been a smaller-scale disturbance involving him in the days immediately afterwards.

Commemorations of the death of Percy Hannafin occur annually around the date of his death. On 11 January 2013 a wreath-laying ceremony took place on Percy Hannafin Way in Tralee to mark the ninety-first anniversary of his death ‘as a result of wounds received in action against British Crown Forces (Black & Tans)’. See https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/admin2fr/fian-percy-hannifin-commemoration-jan-11-tralee-t15338.html (accessed 21 Feb. 2018).

Patrick John (Percy) Hannafin was in 1911 one of the seven children of Jeremiah and Margaret Hannafin of 17 Nelson Street in Tralee. These seven children (three sons and four daughters), ranging in age from 2 to 15, co-resided with their parents in that year. Percy’s father was a commercial agent for a sugar shop (or factory) and confectionary store. A boarder (Patrick McEllistrom) in his household was also a commercial traveller for the same firm. Percy Hannafin (then aged 9) was the youngest of the three sons; he also had three younger sisters.      

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