National Army Soldier Peter Byrne


National Army Soldier Peter Byrne of 8 Lower Gloucester Street, Dublin (at or near Buttevant)

Date of incident: 28 Oct. 1922

Source: SS, 28 Oct. 1922; MSPC/2D320 (Military Archives); O’Farrell, Who’s Who, 202; Keane (2017), 318, 418; http://www.irishmedals.ie/National-Army-Killed.php (accessed 2 Aug. 2017).


Note: While serving with the Dublin Guards Brigade, Byrne was reportedly killed in action at or near Buttevant on 28 October 1922. Before joining the National Army, Private Byrne had been an apprentice painter. He was the foster son and nephew of Mary Frances Morgan of Dublin. See MSPC/2D320 (Military Archives).

Byrne may have been mortally wounded in an incident reported by the Southern Star: ‘On Saturday evening [21 October 1922], as a convoy of troops in lorries under Comdt General Galvin, escorted by an armoured car, were proceeding to Limerick with prisoners, fire was opened on them with rifles and a Thompson gun at a bridge on the Charleville-Buttevant Road.  The troops dismounted and, taking up positions, replied to the fire with three machine guns, when the attackers retired.’ See SS, 28 Oct. 1922.    

Mary Frances Morgan was in 1911 the keeper of a substantial boarding or lodging house at 8 Gloucester Street in the Mountjoy section of Dublin. Living with her were two sons and two daughters—the survivors of the eleven children to whom she had given birth. Her nephew and foster son Peter Byrne was not then listed as a member of this large household. But the Civic Guard report of 28 April 1924 in the relevant pension file made clear that Mary Frances Morgan had adopted Peter Byrne at the age of 5, when his mother was dead and his father had deserted him. While still a civilian and working as an apprentice painter, Byrne had given his foster mother £1 a week from his wages, and while serving as a soldier, he had sent her £1 8s. per week until his marriage shortly before his death. Her weekly ‘turnover’ as a lodging-house keeper was said to be £3 weekly, and the general conclusion was that she had been ‘partially dependent’ on her foster son’s earnings. She was granted an allowance or gratuity of £30, payable in six monthly installments of £5. See MSPC/2D320.        

The Irish Revolution Project

Scoil na Staire /Tíreolaíocht

University College Cork, Cork,