Anti-Treaty Soldier George Dease


Anti-Treaty Soldier George Dease of Castlehaven (near Kealkil)

Date of incident: 8 Dec. 1922

Sources: CE, 13, 18 Dec. 1922; Rebel Cork’s Fighting Story, 208; Last Post (1976 ed.), 101; Keane (2017), 337, 420; IRA Fifth Brigade Memorial, Bantry.


Note: George Dease died of gunshot wounds on 8 December 1922 while fighting with the anti-Treaty IRA near Kealkil in far West Cork. Large reinforcements of the National Army arrived by sea in Bantry Bay at night on 7 December 1922 and landed at different points in the region. One large contingent moved eastward early on the following morning towards Kealkil village. They ‘forced their way along over the deep valleys and hilly country and succeeded in occupying the village, which was for some time past in the occupation of the Irregular forces. . . . It is officially reported that an Irregular was killed in the course of the operations towards Kealkil village, which the National troops occupied in the afternoon. . . . The troops fought their way through the country, keeping up a running fight with Irregular outposts during the greater part of the way.’ Seer CE, 13 Dec. 1922.

A slightly later official report of National Army activities in the Bantry district after 7 December noted: ‘The column operating from Bantry got in touch with Irregulars at Dromlbrowe [Drombrow] wood. An attack was immediately launched, which lasted two hours, when the enemy retreated, leaving one dead with rifle and ammunition. The column then proceeded to Kealkil.’ See CE, 18 Dec. 1922. George Dease was interred in Kilmocomoge parish near Bantry. See Last Post (1976 ed.), 101. He is commemorated on the memorial of the Cork No. 5 Brigade in the middle of Bantry.  

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