Officers of the Third Tipperary Brigade IRA
The Third Tipperary Brigade Irish Republican Army was formed initially at a meeting of leading Volunteers from three battalions held in Tipperary Town on the first Sunday of April 1918, 07.04.1918. Only temporary, or acting, officers were appointed at that stage. Over the following six months three more Battalions were added. The final composition and full complement of permanent officers were decided upon at a meeting in Patrick J. Moloney’s chemist shop, Church Street, Tipperary Town, in October 1918. The meeting was presided over by Richard Mulcahy, IRA Chief-of-Staff. Shortly afterwards a seventh Battalion was organised. The eighth and last Battalion was added later in 1920.
By the time of the Truce, 11 July 1921, the Brigade’s ranks stood at more than 3,650 Volunteers. The majority of the members were involved in supporting roles. Those activities included scouting, intelligence gathering, providing shelter and sustenance, sentry duty, bomb-making, drilling, sniping at barracks, manual labour such as cutting down trees and trenching roads, building bunkers and their associated defensive trench works, providing transport, collecting funds, selling Dáil bonds, hiding Volunteers – especially wounded ones, providing mutual moral support, boycotting members of the crown forces, and disrupting mails and enemy communications. Less than a third of the membership were involved in active military operations. There were two main reasons for that. Firstly, the IRA only allowed unmarried Volunteers without wives and dependants to enlist in the Flying Columns and Active Service Units. Secondly, even counting the use of shotguns and hunting rifles, the Brigade was woefully short of military grade rifles and other weapons. Consequently the majority of Volunteers seldom or never got a chance to distinguish themselves in military actions. But nevertheless their contribution was critical to the IRA’s conduct of the War of Independence and to their ultimate victory.
The following Volunteers held leadership positions in the Brigade between its formation on 07 April 1918 and its defeat and dissolution at the end of the Civil War on 24 May 1923.
Brigadiers: 1. Seumas Robinson, October 1918 – June 1922.
- Denis Lacey, June 1922 – February 1923.
- Seán Hayes, February 1923 to the end of the war.
Vice Brigadiers: 1. Seán Treacy, October 1918 – October 1920.
- Con Moloney, October 1920 – March 1921.
- Denis Lacey, March 1921 – June 1922.
- James Kilmartin, June 1922.
- Patrick Dalton, June 1922 – October 1922.
- William Quirke. October 1922 – January 1923.
Adjutants: 1. Maurice Crowe, October 1918 – June 1920.
- Con Moloney, June 1920 – March 1921.
- Seán Fitzpatrick, March 1921 – March 1922.
- James Flynn, (Acting, October 1921 – March 1922).
- Thomas Lynch, March 1922 – January 1923.
- J. Cleary, January 1923 – April 1923.
- Jack Sharkey, April 1923 to the end of the war.
Quarter Masters: 1. Dan Breen, October 1918 – May 1921.
- Michael Sheehan, May 1921 – September 1922.
- Jerry Frewen, September 1922 to the end of the war.
Assistant Quarter Master: 1. Éamon Ó Duibhir, October 1918 –
Intelligence Officers: 1. Tom Carew, 1920 – September 1921.
- Tom Lynch, September 1921 – March 1922.
- Jack Sharkey, March 1922 – April 1923.
Engineers: 1. Matt Barlow, October 1918 – April 1921.
- Séamus Babington April 1921 -.
Munitions Officer: 1. Tom Bellew, June 1921 – July 1922.
Police Officer: Michael Kirby, 1921.
Communications Officers: 1. Jack O Meara, 1918 1922.
- Tommy Ryan, 1922 – 1923.
Transport Officer: Frank O Keeffe, 1921-1922.
Assistants on Brigade Staff: J. Flynn, M. Sheehan, J. Frewen.
Column Commanders during the war of Independence.
Number 1 Flying Column: Denis Lacey, September 1920 – May 1921.
Number 2 Flying Column: Seán Hogan, October 1920 – May 1921.
Active Service Units’ Commanders during the Civil War.
- Butler, K. Davin, Patrick McDonagh, Michael Sheehan, William Quirke, Andrew Kennedy, James Killeen, Martin Breen, Tom Bellew, Tom Sadlier, M. Hibberd.
Battalion Commandants at the Truce, 11 July 1921.
1st Batt. Rosegreen, Jerome Davin.
Batt. Staff: James Keating, James Delahunty, John Purcell, John Delahunty, Michael Nugent, John Devourix, J. Stumble, James Bates, Frank Morrissey.
2nd Batt. Cashel, Seán Downey.
Batt. Staff: Patrick Dalton, D. Taylor, Patrick J. Byrne, Ed Martin.
3rd Batt. Dundrum, Tadg Dwyer.
Batt. Staff: Edmond O Reilly, Phil Fitzgerald, John C. Ryan (L), John Bourke, Denis Kelly, William Ryan, Michael Davern.
4th Batt. Tipperary, Brian Shanahan.
Batt. Staff: Bill Allen, Jim Moloney, Tadg Crowe, Tom Conway, Matt Barlow, Michael Nagle, Paul Merrigan, P. Ryan, Jim O Meara, H. Conron.
5th Batt. Clonmel, Patrick Dalton.
Batt. Staff: Seán Morrissey, Seán Quirke, Richard Dalton, Jack Sharkey, Seán Cooney.
6th Batt. Cahir, Seán Prendergast.
Batt. Staff: Seán Nagle, Thomas Byrne, William Dempsey, Thomas Mahony, Seán Myles, Edmond McNamara.
7th Batt. Drangan, John Walsh.
Batt. Staff: Seán Walsh, Seán Hayes, Thomas Carroll, H. Bushe, J. McCaffery, T. Cuddihy.
8th Batt. Carrick-on-Suir, Laurence McGrath.
Batt. Staff: Thomas Fahy, Frank Barrett, Robert Walsh, David Power, Thomas Phelan, James Babington, John Loughman, James Foley.
Company Captains at the Truce, 11 July 1921.
A, Rosegreen, P. Aherne.
B, Fethard, Jerry Whelan.
C, Mortlestown, John Lonergan.
D, Newchapel, Jerome Lyons.
E, Coolmoyne, Jack Cormack.
A, Cashel, William O Donnell.
B, New Inn, Chris Tobin.
C, Golden, Michael Murphy.
D, Dualla, Paul Mulcahy.
E, Kilfeacle, Timothy Kearns.
A, Knockavilla, Denis McCarthy.
B, Anacarty, James Quinlan.
C, Hollyford, Patrick H. O Dwyer.
D, Rossmore, Michael Dwyer.
E, Clonoulty, William Ryan.
A, Tipp Town, (A), E. O Halloran.
B, Mount Bruis, Tadg Quillinan.
C, Donohill, Laurence Power.
D, Donaskeigh, Patrick Ryan.
E, Sologhead, Thomas Ryan.
G, Aherlow, Michael O Neill.
H, Bansha, Dick Bourke.
I, Kilross, Michael Carroll.
K, Lattin, Peter Finnan.
L, Tipp Town, (B), William Allen.
A, Clonmel, William Tobin.
B, Kilsheelan, Patrick Stokes.
C, Grange, John Lonergan.
D, Newcastle, Con Scanlan.
E, Powerstown, Michael McGrath.
F, Russelstown, John Wall.
G, Kilcash, E. Morrissey.
A, Tincurry, Jerry Dwyer.
B, Ballybacon, Maurice O Gorman.
C, Graigue, Patrick O Donnell.
D, Skeheenarinka, J. J. Kearney.
E, Garrymore, Tommy O Connor.
F, Ballyporeen, Paddy Kennedy.
G, Burncourt, John Casey.
H, Cahir, Michael O Donnell.
K, Rehill, William O Connor.
A, Drangan, Michael St. John.
- Ballingarry, John McGrath.
- Cloneen, Pierce Dillon.
- Kilusty, Denis Meaney.
- Moyglass, Jack Maher.
- Laffansbridge, Michael Corcoran.
- Killenaule, William Murphy.
- Carrick-on-Suir, Denis J. O Driscoll.
- Faugheen, Patrick Lanigan.
- Grangemockler, Thomas Lawrence.
- Mothel, Thomas Power (Acting).
- Clonea, John Hassett.
- Rathgormack, Michael Daly.
- Windgap, Edmond Byrne.
- Ballyneale, Thomas Carberry.
- Kilamery, Richard Maher.
The above lists, with the exception of the list of Brigade Officers, merely show the situation on one particular day between April 1918 and May 1923, namely, the day the Truce came into operation, 11 July 1921. Remember also that an analysis of the Brigade’s casualty list shows that four Brigade officers, eleven Battalion officers, and sixty eight Company officers and Volunteers gave their lives in the Fight for Irish Freedom. Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a n-anamacha.
Extract from Séamus Heaney’s poem,
The Cure at Troy.
History says don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.