National Army Soldier Joseph McEvoy


National Army Soldier Joseph McEvoy of Ardee, Co. Louth (near Clonmult)

Date of incident: 16 Aug. 1922

Sources: CE, 18, 21 Aug. 1922.


Note: Private Joseph McEvoy ‘accidentally shot himself through the abdomen while on duty, succumbing to his wounds fifteen minutes after the accident. The deceased soldier . . . was travelling through the country with his comrades on duty near Clonmult when the rifle he was carrying accidently went off, entering on the right side of the abdomen.’ A priest near at hand administered the Last Rites. McEvoy was quickly ‘removed to the Midleton Hospital, where on examination by Dr Power life was found to be extinct’. See CE, 18 Aug. 1922. His funeral took place on the following day at the Church of the Most Holy Rosary in Midleton; his remains were interred ‘near the Republican Plot’ in Holy Rosary Cemetery. Formal expressions of sympathy came from the Midleton Urban District Council and from the Midleton Branch of the League of Irish Ex-Servicemen. See CE, 21 Aug. 1922.

McEvoy’s funeral saw an impressive outpouring of public sympathy in Midleton and the surrounding district, which had been an IRA stronghold during the War of Independence: ‘At 8 p.m. [on Wednesday, 16 August] the remains were removed from the hospital to the Church of the Most Holy Rosary, Midleton, the funeral being a striking spectacle of sympathy from the townspeople in general. The coffin, draped in the tri-colour, borne on a hearse, headed by Fr F[rancis] Flannery, C.C., was attended by an armed bodyguard of local troops, with the St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band in front playing the Dead March in Saul. Following the coffin was a detachment of the troops. Then came Midleton Volunteers, followed by the members of the Midleton Urban Council. . . . The general public followed, and both sides of the street were lined with thousands of sympathetic spectators, all going to show that the sad accident was sincerely regretted by the entire population of Midleton and district.’ See CE, 18 July 1922. 

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