Fianna Éireann Member Peter Francis Cahill Jr


Fianna Éireann Member Peter Francis Cahill Jr (aged 11) of 38 Thomas Davis Street, Cork (Thomas Davis Street, Cork city)

Date of incident: 14 July 1922

Sources: Death Certificate (Cork Urban District, Union of Cork), 14 July 1922; CE, 15, 17, 18 July 1922; CWN, 22 July 1922; Keane (2016), 290, 415.


Note: Eleven-year-old Peter Cahill was shot dead at home accidently by his 18-year-old brother (James) Leo Cahill, also a Fianna member, on 14 July 1922. Leo was playing with a revolver under the tragically wrong assumption that the gun was unloaded. He handled it carelessly and it went off; his brother Peter Cahill was shot in the chest and died almost instantly. Two revolvers had just been brought into the Cahill household by the visiting Daniel Mulroy, O/C of the First Battalion of the Fianna Éireann, who had earlier that day been in charge of a firing party at the funeral of Jeremiah Pierce, a Fianna company O/C and a former comrade of Mulroy’s. Mulroy testified at the coroner’s inquest that he had handed one of the revolvers—an automatic—to Leo Cahill and was just about to tell him that there was another round of ammunition in the breach when the gun went off, killing the young boy in the presence of his mother. See CE, 15, 17 July 1922. The coroner’s jury found that the young Peter Francis Cahill had died on 14 July ‘from internal haemorrhage and shock resulting from a bullet wound received through the accidental discharge of a revolver at the hands of his brother, Leo Cahill, whom we exonerate from all blame’. See CE, 17 July 1922. The death notice for Peter Cahill noted that he had been a member of E Company of the First Battalion of Na Fianna Éireann, and that his parents Peter F. and Annie Cahill were heartbroken over their loss. See CE, 15 July 1922.

Peter Francis Augustine Cahill Jr was in 1911 the infant son of the commercial traveler Peter Francis Cahill Sr (a fancy-goods salesman) and his wife Johanna, who were then the parents of three children (five born) and resided at house 42 in the Croughtamore neighbourhood of the Cork city suburb of Bishopstown.

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