Civilian Jeremiah Holland


Civilian Jeremiah Holland (aged 48) of Kealkil and Caher-Mountain near Bantry (near Kealkil)

Date of incident: 4 Oct. 1922

Sources: Death Certificate (Kealkil District, Union of Bantry), 4 Oct. 1922 (registered 11 Oct. 1922); CE, 6 Oct. 1922; FJ, 6 Oct. 1922; II, 6 Oct. 1922; SS, 7 Oct. 1922; Keane (2017), 311, 418.


Note: Jeremiah Holland was mortally wounded near Kealkil on 4 October 1922 during one of an extended series of encounters between National troops and Irregulars in the Bantry and Kealkil districts. According to a detailed report on the most recent of these encounters in the Southern Star of 7 October, ‘during the early part of the firing on the eastern end of the zone, a farmer named Holland, who was engaged either working on his land or on his way to town [Bantry], was struck by a bullet and killed at once’. At about that point the National soldiers ‘executed a masterly manoeuvre’ in order to extricate themselves from a poor military position in which the Irregulars enjoyed ‘superior and increasing’ numbers and the topographical advantage. See SS, 7 Oct. 1922.

The Freeman’s Journal also supplied a detailed account of the National Army offensive against the Irregulars in the Kealkil district: ‘On Tuesday morning [3 October 1922] a body of the National troops, numbering close on 150, left Bantry and proceeded in a north-easterly direction, bearing on the village of Kealkil, some six miles north-east, where it was stated the Irregulars were concentrating for some time in strength and equipped with armoured cars and machine-guns of various types. . . . Official details of the fighting state that a party of between 100 and 120 troops operating in the district were attacked by some 250 Irregulars, who were in occupation of very strong positions. The troops took cover, and a battle, which lasted over three hours, commenced.’ This report noted the death of a farmer named Holland, who had been struck by a stray bullet. The claim that the Irregulars lost eight men in this encounter cannot be substantiated. See FJ, 6 Oct. 1922.

Jeremiah Holland was in 1911 the father of three young children (two sons and a daughter) ranging in age from 2 to 6. He and his wife Mary then resided at house 18 in Kealkil village. A dairyman by occupation, he was then 36 years old. According to his death certificate, Jeremiah Holland died of a gunshot wound at Kealkil on 4 October 1922. No inquest was held. His wife Mary Holland of Caher-Mountain was the informant. She gave her husband’s age at death as 48. See Death Certificate (Kealkil District, Union of Bantry), 4 Oct. 1922 (registered 11 Oct. 1922).

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