Civilian William Murphy


Civilian William Murphy (aged about 42) of 24 Ninety-Eight Street, Cork (Patrick Street, Cork city)

Date of incident: 21 April 1923

Sources: Death Certificate (Cork Urban District No. 6, Union of Cork), 21 April 1923; CE, 23, 24 April 1923; Belfast Newsletter, 23 April 1923; Irish Times, 24 April 1923; SS, 28 April 1923; Daily Report of the 15th Infantry Battalion for 21 April 1923, CW/OPS/04/06 (Military Archives); Murphy (2010), Appendix 2, 338; Keane (2017), 360-61, 422.


Note: The labourer William Murphy was fatally shot by accident in Patrick Street in Cork city at about 9 p.m. on Saturday night, 21 April 1923. He was a ‘rather elderly man’ and was a resident of ’98 Street (off Bandon Road). The Cork Examiner reported: ‘It appears that an attack was made by a number of armed youths on a [National] military officer passing through Patrick Street. Several shots were fired at him from revolvers, and the deceased was unfortunate in coming into the line of fire, with the result that he was struck in the side by one of the bullets. He ran from a point close to the corner of Patrick Street and Robert Street, where he had been hit, as far as Cook[e] Street, evidently with the intention of getting away from the scene of the firing, but the unfortunate man had already been mortally wounded, and he collapsed near the Victoria Hotel.’ Murphy was rushed to the Mercy Hospital, but he succumbed to his wounds within less than an hour of admission. ‘The shooting created considerable alarm in the centre of the city, which was being promenaded by the usual Saturday evening crowds at the time, but when there was no repetition of the shots, people became reassured and again moved about as before.’ Murphy had been an employee of the Lady’s Well Brewery in Cork. He was interred in St Finbarr’s Cemetery. See CE, 23 April 1923. See also Daily Report of the 15th Infantry Battalion for 21 April 1923, CW/OPS/04/06 (Military Archives).

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