National Army Soldier (Captain) Michael Keogh


National Army Soldier (Captain) Michael Keogh (aged 26) of 74B Rathgar Road, Co. Dublin (Mallow Military Barracks)

Date of incident: 19 June 1923

Sources: Evening Herald, 20, 21, 22 June 1923; II, 21 June 1923; CE, 23 June 1923; FJ, 23 June 1923; FSS Cork Civil War Deaths; MSPC/3D197 (Military Archives).


Note: Captain Michael Keogh was killed accidentally at Mallow Military Barracks on 19 June 1923 while demonstrating the use of hand grenades. He was a member of C Company of the Second Battalion of the Dublin Brigade in the National Army. During the War of Independence he had also served with the same company, battalion, and brigade. His widow Mary Keogh was awarded an allowance of £90 per annum in 1924, a sum that was later increased to £250 in 1953. See MSPC/3D197 (Irish Military Archives).

The initial report of Keogh’s death in the Evening Herald stated that he had been ‘examining some bombs when one burst and inflicted fatal injuries’. This report noted that Keogh had been serving on the Inspection Staff of the National Army GHQ at Portobello Barracks in Dublin. See Evening Herald, 20 June 1923.   

Captain Keogh had a distinguished military career over the period 1917-23: ‘Stationed at Portobello Barracks, Dublin, he had been on a tour of inspection in the South when he was fatally injured at Mallow on Tuesday last [19 June 1923] by the explosion of a bomb which he was inspecting. He had only married last September. Joining the Irish Volunteers in 1917, he became a most active and efficient member. Owing to his determination and splendid courage in action, he was amongst the most reliable men of the late Comdt. Tom Keogh’s old active service unit and fought in many a notable engagement against the British forces. He also fought under Col. J. Furlong, his O.C. He later became attached to the Munitions Department, and until his death he had been connected with the manufacture of war material.’ See Evening Herald, 21 June 1923.  

There was an imposing funeral for Captain Keogh in Dublin on 22 June prior to his interment in Glasnevin Cemetery: ‘After 10 o’clock Mass this morning at St Andrew’s, Westland Row, which was attended by President Cosgrave, the remains of the late Captain Michael Keogh, Portobello Barracks, who met his death under such tragic circumstances in Mallow on Tuesday last [19 June], were removed to Glasnevin Cemetery on a gun carriage in charge of Col. P. Mulcahy. All along the route large crowds watched [as] the funeral procession passed. A large contingent of officers attended and made an imposing display. The Brass and Reed Band of the Special Infantry Batt[alion] and a firing party marched under Capt. Robt. Fitzgerald, while the Brass and Reed and Fife and Drum Bands from Collins Barracks were in charge of Capt. T. O’Doherty. Deceased’s brother officers composed the guard of honour and the pall-bearers. The remains were removed to the mortuary chapel and from thence to the grave by six officers.’ Commandants of the National Army were very prominent among the chief mourners. See Evening Herald, 22 June 1923.    

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