Drumcondra Murders

During a raid in Dublin, F Coy ADRIC arrested two Irishmen, James Murphy and Patrick Kennedy. On the 9 Feb 1921 their bodies were found in a field in Drumcondra.

The two IRA prisoners Patrick Kennedy and James Murphy (both men may have been on the execution squads on Bloody Sunday) in the custody of 'F' company of the Auxiliaries were shot dead with pails on their heads and their bodies found at Clonturk Park, Drumcondra, Dublin. The two prisoners had been taken from Dublin Castle. The dying James Murphy testified that King had taken them and stated that they were Just going for a drive. Captain King, and two of his men, one Irish, were arrested and put on trial. They were acquitted by a court-martial on the 15th April as testimony from a dying man was inadmissible. O'Malley met King in the prison exercise yard, who bemoaned his fate that he was a political scapegoat, taking the blame for the government. King was transferred to Galway city where it seems he caused a near riot during the truce.

14Feb Enquiry in their death

King had his suspension from duty was removed on 16/4/21. On the same day, he left "F" Company and assumed command of "R" Company, five weeks later he moved from "R" Company and assumed command of "D" Company, in Galway. He stayed with "D" Company until he relinquished command on 15/11/21, a note in the records states that he ceases to be attached to A.D.R.I.C.

3 men from F Coy ADRIC were court-martialed for their murder. These men were:

During the trial charges against Welsh were dropped. King and Hinchcliffe were found not guilty on 15 April 1921.

Then there was a curious follow-up in Parliament when an MP (rather dubiously in my opinion) used parliamentary privilege to name names, as reported in Hansard on 18 Apr 1918..

And a further series of questions reported in Hansard 21 April 1921

And from a later Commons debate in Hansard

The affidavit of a brother of one of these men is as follows: My brother, James Murphy, and I[...] lived together in lodgings at 22, Killarney Street, Dublin. My brother's age is 25. He was an assistant at Whiteside and Company, of South Great Georges Street, Dublin, grocers. I saw him last on Wednesday, the 9th instant, about 6.30, when after his day's work he came home for his evening meal. After he had tea he left me, saying that he was going to pass a few hours at the pictures or a game of billiards. I have since ascertained from the said James Murphy that he went to the Cinema Theatre in Talbot Street, and as he was leaving, about 9.30, there was a 'hold up' by the armed forces of the Crown in Talbot Street, when a number of young men were held up and searched. He, with others, was searched, and put by the soldiers on a motor lorry, and brought to Dublin Castle, where he was examined. Nothing of any kind of a compromising character was found on him; he had no weapons and no documents of any kind. The examination was finished at about 10 o'clock, when the military authorities told him that he was released and might go home. As it was then after curfew hour, there was danger and difficulty for anybody going through the streets for fear of the military. Accordingly the officer-in-charge told some soldiers to take my brother and Patrick Kennedy to their homes and leave them there, and to leave my brother at 22, Killarney Street, or as near to it as they could go

Instead of bringing my brother to his lodgings, the military drove the motor lorry by Drumcondra to Clonturk Park. They halted the motor lorry near a field, where there was unused and derelict ground. They took my brother and Patrick Kennedy out of the motor lorry, brought them into the field, put old tin cans over their heads, put them against the wall, and fired a number of shots at them. I believe Patrick Kennedy was killed almost instantaneously. My brother was hit through the tin can in his mouth on the left cheek, on the right cheek, and through the breast. Having done this the soldiers left them and went away. Shortly afterwards two members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, on their boat in the neighbourhood, hoard groans on the other side of the wall, which came from my brother. They got into the field and they found Kennedy dead and my brother still moaning and bleeding from his wounds. They brought my brother and Kennedy to the Mater Misericordiæ Hospital. At about 3.30 on Thursday the 10th of February, while I was in bed in my lodgings, I was awakened by the flashing in my eyes of an electric torch by an officer, who asked me where was my brother. I told him that I did not know, that he had not come home, and that I could not understand what had become of him. He then told me to get dressed. While I was dressing the officer searched every corner of our little room, but, of course, with no result.

With the military party there were two sergeants of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, and one of them told me that my brother has been badly wounded and was in the Mater Hospital. They asked me would I wish to see my brother, when I said I was most anxious to see him at once. They took me away in the motor lorry to the Mater Misericordiæ Hospital. My brother was then conscious, and he told me the facts above stated. He assured me that when he was interrogated at the Castle his examination was perfectly satisfactory, and he was released and told he might go home, and it being after curfew hours, directions were given by an officer that he should be sent home on the motor lorry and he got on that vehicle with the Black and Tans auxiliary police, believing that he was going to be left at his lodgings, instead of which he was brought to Clonturk Park and fired at as above stated. When my brother made the statement to me he was perfectly conscious, and was quite capable of giving an exact and detailed account of what happened. My brother is a quiet and inoffensive man, and took no part in politics whatsoever or in any kind of political movement. And he was not a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. My brother and I have been living together in lodgings since 1909, and during that entire period I am satisfied that he took no part whatsoever in any political movement or was in any way connected with the volunteers or the Irish Republican Army or mixed in political action in any way whatsoever. And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act, 1835.

Incidents