Civilian David Nolan


Civilian David Nolan (aged about 52) of Homeville, Magazine Road, Cork (Washington Street, Cork city)

Date of incident: 21 Oct. 1922

Sources: CE, 27, 28 Oct., 1 Nov. 1922; II, 30 Oct. 1922; Keane (2017), 318, 418.


Note: David Nolan died at about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, 26 October 1922, in the Mercy Hospital as a result of injuries sustained on 21 October in an accidental collision in Washington Street between a trap in which he was riding and a military lorry driven by a National Army Soldier. As a result of the collision, Nolan and the driver of the trap were both thrown onto the road; Nolan suffered severe brain injuries from striking his head on the tramway sets and died five days later. Contributing to the accident, according to testimony given at a subsequent military court of inquiry, was the ear-splitting noise and distraction created by an exploding bomb thrown at a Crossley tender carrying Free State troops immediately in front of the military lorry involved in the collision. One National Army soldier giving evidence at the inquiry stated that he had thought that an ambush was taking place. At the time of his death Nolan was ‘was a well known man in commercial circles in Cork, being Secretary of the Lee Boot Company. He was also prominently identified with the language revival movement.’ See CE, 27 Oct. 1922. He left a widow named Helena Nolan and several children. The military court of inquiry recommended that ‘the widow and children of the deceased should receive reasonable compensation from the army authorities’. See CE, 1 Nov. 1922. He was buried in St Finbarr’s Cemetery on 28 October, according to his death notice a day earlier. See CE, 27 Oct. 1922. 

David Nolan was in 1911 the newly married husband of Helena Nolan (then aged 28) and the father of a one-year-old daughter. They resided at that time in house 36 in Dundanion in the Blackrock district of Cork city. David Nolan (then aged 41) listed his occupation as a drapery accountant.

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