Civilian James Hunt Jr


Civilian James Hunt Jr (aged about 12) of Abbey Street, Timoleague (Timoleague)

Date of incident: 8 April 1923

Source: Death Certificate (Timoleague District, Union of Timoleague), 8 April 1923; CE, 19 April 1923; SS, 21 April 1923; CW OPS/04/02, Daily Report of 9 April 1923 (Military Archives).


Note: A labourer’s child, James Hunt died instantly of a gunshot wound (causing laceration of his brain) at Timoleague on 8 April 1923. See Death Certificate (Timoleague District, Union of Timoleague), 8 April 1923. The exact circumstances of his death remain unclear, but there was great local dissatisfaction over the failure of the Free State authorities to hold an official inquest before or even after Hunt’s interment. The Cork Examiner of 19 April 1923 reported that a quarterly meeting of the Timoleague branch of the Ancient Order of Hibernians had adopted a resolution on 15 April expressing its sympathy to Mr and Mrs James Hunt ‘on their great bereavement occasioned by the violent and tragic death from the effects of a gunshot wound, received on the public street at Timoleague, where he almost immediately died, at mid-day on Low Sunday [8 April], of their 13 year old son, James, which profoundly shocked the entire community. . . . That in our opinion the private military inquiry held in the circumstnaces (we believe in the absence of the press) does not satisfy the general public nor the ends of justice. That [it] is eminently a case for a coroner’s inquest; that the Civic Guard, or else the military, should have requisitioned the district coroner to hold an inquest (who could not otherwise function); that we believe a jury could be empanelled from a more than sufficient number of eligible persons who viewed the body, and an inquest held, even now, without having to exume or disturb the remains of the deceased.’ See CE, 19 April 1923. A National Army report indicated that a young lad named Hunt had been shot dead and that another had been slightly wounded by the accidental discharge of a sentry’s rifle. See CW OPS/04/02, Daily Report of 9 April 1923 (Military Archives).

James Hunt Jr was in 1911 one of the four living children (six born) of the general labourer James Hunt Sr and his wife Ellen. The four children (two daughters and two sons) then ranged in age from 6 months to 8 years old. James Jr was the youngest (six months old). The parents and children all resided with their grandparents John and Mary Hunt at 5 Abbey Street in Timoleague. John Hunt was also a general labourer.     

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