Civilian Patrick John (Seán) Walsh


Civilian Patrick John (Seán) Walsh (aged 25) of 41 William O’Brien Street, Cork city (Gerald Griffin Street, Cork city)

Date of incident: 16 Oct. 1922

Sources: Death Certificate (Cork Urban District, Union of Cork), 16 Oct. 1922; CE, 17, 18, 19 Oct. 1922; FJ, 19 Oct. 1922; Murphy (2010), Appendix 2, 338; Keane (2017), 314, 418; http://www.irishmedals.ie/Civilians-Killed-Civil-War.php (accessed 8 Aug. 2017).


Note: A pawnbroker’s clerk or assistant, John Walsh was shot twice at ‘very close’ range outside the Presentation Convent on Gerald Griffin Street near the corner of Hillgrove Lane (close to his residence) by a party of armed men at about 10:45 p.m. on 16 October 1922 as he was walking home with his wife from one of the ‘picture houses’. He died of his wounds on the way to the North Infirmary. See CE, 17, 18 Oct. 1922. 

One witness at the military inquiry into his death testified that Walsh ‘had been in the Volunteers up to the Truce of July 1921 and with others of his I.R.A. company sided with the Free State at the time of the split. That was the only reason [this] witness could suggest for the shooting. Then, again, when the troops arrived in Cork, [the] deceased used to be around with some of the members of the [National] Army, and that might have helped to lead to it.’ For about a week, in fact, after the National Army arrived in Cork city, Walsh had driven around some of its officers in a motorcycle and a sidecar. Another witness also suggested strongly that Walsh had been shot because he had refused to side with the anti-Treaty IRA. ‘The Republicans wanted him,’ declared this witness. ‘They were on to him all the time because he stuck by the Free State.’ The military court found that Walsh had been shot from behind with dum-dum bullets ‘by persons in armed opposition to the National forces, and that such persons were guilty of wilful murder’. See CE, 18 Oct. 1922.

Walsh’s funeral took place on 18 October at St. Finbarr’s Cathedral: ‘There was a very large attendance, and as the cortege passed through the streets on its way to St Finbarr’s Cemetery, the remains were reverently saluted by the large crowds assembled along the route.’ See CE, 19 Oct. 1922. Walsh’s residential address was variously given as 25 Gerald Griffin Street and 25 and 41 William O’Brien Street, Cork.

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