Michael O’Callaghan

Last Updated On February 09, 2018
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Michael O'Callaghan

Michael O'Callaghan

Michael O'Callaghan(1887-1962) has the unique distinction of being the only person in Tipperary
to engage with the Crown Forces in 1916. O'Callaghan was born in Greenane, Tipperary, later
becoming a creamery manager in Lattin. As a member of the i.R.B., he was in favour of the use
of physical force as a means of taking action against the British presence in Ireland. However, this
opinion made him unpopular with the majority viewpoint in the Tipperary town district which was
home to a large British military barracks (a major contributor to the town's economy) and also
with the local R.l.C.

During Easter week 1916, he chaired two meetings in Tipperary town which were called to decide
whether to take part in the rebellion. No decision was reached at either meeting.While returning
home from the second meeting in the town, he was accosted by a violent mob on the streets.
After being chased and stoned by the mob, he took refuge in his home. As the crowd attempted
to break in the door, he armed himself with a shotgun and threatened to shoot anyone that came
in. Later that evening, he fled to the safety of a friend's house at Monour Cross, Kilross, just outside
the town.


On Wednesday, April 26th, two R.l.C. men attempted to arrest him at the house but he fired on both policemen, killing one and seriously wounding the other. This second policeman died a day later. The two R.l.C. men were Sergeant O'Rourke and Constable Hurley from Lisvernane. As O'Callaghan's actions made him an outlaw, his continued existence in lreland was impossible. He fled to Liverpool and thence to New York city in late 1916. A year later, he was arrested in New York and legal proceedings were started to have him extradited back to lreland to face charges. Due to the continuing changing political landscape in Ireland, charges were dropped and he was released in 1918.

He later returned to Tipperary where, in later years, he served as a District Court Clerk.