National Army Soldier David Lehane


National Army Soldier David Lehane of (aged about 22) Sleaveen Lane, Macroom (Macroom)

Date of incident: 19 Feb. 1923

Sources: CE, 21, 22 Feb. 1923; II, 23 Feb. 1923; MSPC/3D241 (Military Archives); Keane (2017), 351, 422. 


Note: Private David Lehane was killed in an attack by Irregulars on Lee Barracks in Macroom on the night of 19 February 1923. The Irregulars used rifle grenades and fired bombs over the wall of the Macroom union workhouse, where National Army troops were stationed and had their barracks. Lehane was the sole fatality among the Free State forces. See CE, 21, 22 Feb. 1923. The Adjutant of the Southern Command reported on 9 July 1924: ‘On the night of the 19th February 1922 [recte 1923] machine gun and rifle fire was opened on Lee Barracks, Macroom, and Pte. Lehane was shot dead.’ He had received bullet wounds in the chest and arm and died instantly. See MSPC/3D241 (Military Archives). 

David Lehane had joined the National Army on 24 August 1922. He was a member of the First Cork Brigade (Macroom Reserves) and was stationed with his unit at the Lee Barracks there. Lehane had been employed as a labourer in civilian life. He had earned about 10s. a week and had also received a weekly allowance of the same amount from the British government in recognition of the loss of an elder brother killed in France while a British soldier during the Great War. See See MSPC/3D241.

David Lehane was in 1911 one of the children (number not supplied) of the agricultural labourer and widower Daniel Lehane of 21 Sleaveen Lane in Macroom. Living with the father Daniel Lehane in that year were a grandson, two daughters, and his son David Lehane (then aged 10). David’s sister Ellen Lehane (later Ellen O’Donoghue) was then aged 19. In the 1901 census Daniel Lehane (then a mason’s labourer) and his wife Mary of 10 Sleaveen Lane in Macroom appeared as the parents of four co-resident children (three daughters and a son) ranging in age from 10 months to 14 years old. It was their eldest Stephen Lehane (aged 14 in 1901) who was later killed in France during the Great War (on 22 November 1917). See Keane (2017), 351    

David Lehane’s married sister Ellie O’Donoghue was awarded a gratuity of £40 in 1924. She had previously been receiving a weekly dependant’s allowance of 7s. According to a Civic Guard report of 21 July 1924, she was the mother of seven children ranging in age from 6 months to 15 years old. She stated that David Lehane had been an orphan while alive. She presumably meant that both of his (and her) parents had died by that point. See MSPC/3D241.

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