The current County Antrim Memorial contains a number of panels listing those considered to have given their lives in pursuit of an Irish Republic in the period from 1916 to 1966. A review of those listed for Belfast appears relatively incomplete when set against the various criteria that appear to have been applied to identify individuals who merited inclusion on the memorial, including those killed in action, accidental deaths on active service, murdered while active and those who died as a result of imprisonment or protest. While the County Antrim Memorial lists some names, it possible to suggest quite a further names for inclusion based on the same criteria.
I have included this list with names only below for anyone wishing to quickly scan through it. Names in bold are those already listed on the County Antrim Memorial in Milltown Cemetery, Belfast. The discrepancies are interesting and I’ll post a bit more about what it tells us about commemoration and republicanism at a later date.
I have added notes on some individual cases underneath. In some instances it is not immediately possible to pinpoint the date of death since that detail isn’t accessible. In other cases inclusion may not be merited, for various reasons of geography or association.
Please use the comments section to update details where appropriate, suggest further omissions, or give reasons for removing individuals from this list. With that in mind, I’d like to put a time limit on this, so there is an agreed list that can be posted up by Easter Sunday.
You can view the names on the County Antrim Memorial here and here.
Roll of Honour, Belfast, 1916-1966
Charlie Monaghan, IRB, 21/04/1916
James Johnston, IRB, 1917
Bernard MacMackin, IRB, 29/5/1917
Vol. Joseph Giles, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 20/7/1920
Fian John Murray, Fianna, 28/8/1920
Edward Trodden, IRB, 26/9/1920
Vol. John McFadden, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 26/9/1920
Vol. Sean Gaynor, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 26/9/1920
Vol. Sean O’Carroll, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 30/11/1920
Vol. Dan Duffin, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 23/4/1921
Vol. Pat Duffin, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 23/4/1921
Vol. Sean McCartney, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 8/5/1921
Alexander McBride, Sinn Féin, 11/6/1921
Vol. Alexander Hamilton, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 11/7/1921
Vol. James Ledlie, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 12/7/1921
Vol. Freddie Fox, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 15/8/1921
Vol.Murt McAstocker, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 25/9/1921
Vol. Bernard Shanley, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 16/12/1921
Vol. David Morrison, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 27/12/1921
Vol. Patrick Flynn, Óglaigh na hÉireann, December 1921
Vol. James Morrison, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 14/2/1922
Vol. Thomas Gray, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 16/2/1922
Fian Thomas Heathwood, Fianna, 6/3/1922
Vol. Frank McCoy, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 14/2/1922
Vol. Andrew Leonard, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 13/3/1922
Vol. Augustine Orange, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 18/3/1922
Vol. Edward McKinney, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 24/3/1922
Fian Joseph Burns, Fianna, 18/4/1922
Fian J.P. Smyth, Fianna, 18/4/1922
Fian William Toal, Fianna, 25/5/1922
Vol. William Thornton, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 18/6/1922
Fian Joseph Hurson, Fianna, 23/6/1922
Fian Leo Rea, Fianna, 23/6/1922
Vol. Edward McEvoy, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 9/8/1922
Vol. Joe McKelvey, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 8/12/1922
Vol. Pat Nash, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 31/1/1925
Vol. Francis Doherty, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 1933?
Vol. Dan Turley, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 4/12/1937
Vol. Liam Tumilson, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 14/3/1937
Vol. Jim Stranney, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 31/7/1938
Vol. Sean Martin, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 25/4/40
Vol. Jack Gaffney, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 18/11/1940
Vol. Joe Malone, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 21/1/1942
Vol. Terence Perry, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 7/7/1942
Vol. Gerard O’Callaghan, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 31/8/1942
Vol. Tom Williams, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 2/9/1942
Vol. Richard Magowan, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 1943
Vol. Seamus Burns, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 12/2/1944
Fian Sean Doyle, Fianna, 10/4/1944
Vol. Tom Graham, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 1944
Vol. Dickie Dunn, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 1945?
Vol. Sean McCaughey, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 11/5/1946
Brendan O’Boyle, Laochra Uladh, 2/7/1955
Vol. Tommy O’Malley, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 10/12/1959
Vol. Patrick McLogan, Óglaigh na hÉireann, 21/7/1964
Notes on some individual entries:
Johnston and McMackin both had their health broken by their internment in Frongoch, both died immediately after release (see Belfast and nineteensixteen). In Johnston’s case it isn’t clear if he was directly involved with the IRB.
John Murray, 20 years old, from Glenview Street, who was shot in the abdomen on the night of 28th August 1920. Was dead before he reached the Mater Hospital. Address given as 11 Glenview Street in Facts and Figures of the Belfast Pogrom, where the head of household is given in the 1918 Belfast Street Directory as John Murray (the father of the deceased). Included on County Antrim Memorial.
Augustine Orange, Castlereagh Road, was found shot dead in Clermont Lane during the night of 18th March 1922, reputedly after returning from a St Patrick’s Ball. He is named in a list of those who served in republican forces at the back of Antrim’s Patriot Dead but no further detail is included. His older brother worked as a telegraphist and he may have been involved in intelligence work.
Joseph Burns, 18th April 1922, listed as accidentally shot. Not reported in newspapers. Not listed in Facts and Figures of the Belfast Pogrom. Included on County Antrim Memorial, inclusion suggests there were republican casualties in 1920-22 that were either not conventionally reported or disguised through circumstances.
J.P. Smyth is listed as ‘shot dead’ on 18th April 1922. Not reported in the newspapers although The Irish Times carries an account of a sniper shot dead in the Bone by an army patrol who had not been identified. Not listed in Facts and Figures. Similar case to Burns, above.
William Toal, 17, of 42 Mayfair Street, was wounded during the night of Thursday 25th May. He died in hospital the next day. Facts and Figures gives a date of 26th May 1922. Included on County Antrim Memorial, date of death given as May 1922.
Thomas Heathwood, Upton Street, killed on 6th March 1922. Listed as ‘Thomas Eastwood’ killed on 6th March 1922 in Facts and Figures but described as a Fianna member in the press in March 1922.
Joseph Hurson, 15, an apprentice cabinet maker of 87 Unity Street and a second lieutenant in A Company, 2nd Battalion. Listed as killed on 23rd June 1922 in Facts and Figures but was actually killed on 4th July 1922 when he was shot through the eye at his own front door.
Leo Rea, 16. 107 Leeson Street a shop assistant and Fian in A Company, 1st Battalion, and also listed as attached to E Company and Engineers. Listed as killed on 23rd June 1922 in Facts and Figures. Shot dead at 8.30 am on Merrion Street, off the Grosvenor Road and died an hour later in the Mater Hospital.
William Thornton, Catherine Street (IRA section leader, C Company, 3rd Battalion), shot dead by RUC in Gloucester Street. 18 June 1922. For more see here.
Bernard Shanley, C Company (also listed as Engineering Company), 2nd Battalion. Killed on picket duty, 15th December 1921. Not listed in Facts and Figures. On picket duty in Bankmore Street, when he was attacked by a mob. Revolver ammunition proved defective and he was shot . Died a few hours later in Mater Hospital on 16th December.
James Morrison, 126 Sultan Street and E Company, 1st Battalion. Killed 14th February 1922. His company had fired on loyalists who were using workmen on the tramway track as cover close to Dunville Park. When one, Thomas Blair, was killed, Specials carried out a reprisal and James Morrison was wounded and died later that day in the Royal Victoria Hospital. Listed as killed on 15th February 1922 in Facts and Figures.
Andrew Leonard, 53 Mary Street, A Company, 4th Battalion. Wounded in the neck during fighting in Townsend Street on 6th March 1922 and died on the 13th March. Listed as killed on 13th March 1922 in Facts and Figures (and his address given as Duffy Street). He is listed as killed in action, A Company, 4th Battalion.
Alexander Hamilton, Plevna Street shot dead during trouble on the Springfield Road on the early morning of 11th July 1921 (listed as KIA, A Company, 4th Battalion).
Edward McKinney, was a barman who worked with the McMahon family and was killed along with many of the family on 24th March 1922. Known to have been a member of Óglaigh na hÉireann.
Joseph Giles, shot dead in Bombay Street on 22nd July 1920. An ex-soldier. Believed to have been an IRA volunteer (see Northern Divisions by Jim McDermot).
Frank McCoy, Forfar Street. Section leader, A Company, 4th Battalion. Died on 14th February 1922.
Edward McEvoy, Kerrara Street, Ardoyne, killed in an attack by Free State troops at Ferrycarrig in Wexford, 9th August 1922.
Pat Nash 31st January 1925, veteran republican. Health broken by prison protests, was released from internment to die at home. This was typical of the northern government, and a similar fate befell other republicans like Francis Doherty (in 1933), Joe Malone (1942), Terence Perry (1942), Richard Magowan (1943), Tom Garham (1944), Dickie Dunn (1945) and Tommy O’Malley (1959). Other internees who died in the 1940s and may be from Belfast include Cathal Kerr, J. Rooney, Joe McGinley, Seamus Keenan and Mickey McErlean.
Dan Turley was shot in error in 1936 after a dubious court martial in 1933. Harry White, as Chief of Staff, appears to have informally recognised Turley’s innocence by 1944.
Liam Tumilson and Jim Straney had went to Spain from Óglaigh na hÉireann where they were killed in action fighting fascism. Others generally listed as Belfast republicans are Dick O’Neill, Danny Boyle and Thomas Kerr.
Brendan O’Boyle was the leading figure in the Laochra Uladh group.
Patrick McLogan had a long republican career, but did command D Company, 1st Battalion, Belfast Brigade from July 1919 to April 1920 and so could arguably be listed with the Belfast Roll of Honour. He was killed when a gun accidentally discharged.
9 thoughts on “Roll of Honour, Belfast, 1916-1966”
Nice to see my mother’s brother Bernard McMackin on the list. I was the youngest in our family, coming in too late to get the full family stories. My mother Nora mc Mackin died when I was 10 and her husband John McKeever died when I was 5. John was a member of the Belfast Brigade in 1921-22, continuing service until 1934, interned in 1939.
Thanks Brian. I don’t have much else on Bernard, other than he was 21, from Leeson Street and he died on 29th May 1917. He had been educated at St Malachy’s College and Queens and would have graduated with a degree in Mathematics in 1916 other than events overtook him. He was imprisoned in Wandsworth and Richmond.
Thank you for this John it means so much to the turley family
Thank you for this John
No worries, Dan. It’s on merit. There isn’t a comprehensive roll of honour for 1916-66 anywhere so maybe this will get a debate going and have one agreed.
i hope you are right john especially after all the excellent research you have done
A couple of additions:
– James McGee, D Company 1st Battalion, killed in action in Raglan St, 26th March 1922 (see MSPC 1D213)
– John Walker, B Company 2nd Battalion, killed in action in Short Strand, 20th April 1922 (see MSPC W2RB4095)
A few whose inclusion I would query:
– Pat Duffin: I know he’s named on the Co. Antrim Memorial and in the Clonard memorial garden, but it’s debateable whether he was even in the IRA; there’s a microfilm file of the Michael Collins Papers in the National Library which lists all the IRA members killed in the War of independence and while his brother Dan is mentioned, Pat is not; Jimmy McDermott’s book also questions whether he was a volunteer.
– J.P.Smyth & Joseph Burns: I find it very hard to believe that their deaths by gunshot could be concealed from undertakers, the coroner and the newspapers. Considering how many other Fianna were killed, it would have been relatively easy to pass their deaths off as having happened during disturbances. Other deaths by accidental shooting were reported on, even including the child of an RIC officer who accidentally shot himself with his father’s gun, and the girlfriend of a Special, so I don’t see why these two boys’ deaths would have been concealed.
Just a question: I’ve a list of 498 people killed in Belfast during the pogrom, but nothing corresponds to Patrick Flynn (Dec 1921), Thomas Gray (16th Feb 1922) or Edward McEvoy (9th Aug 1922) – did they die outside Belfast? Can you provide some more of the circumstances please?
Thanks for those additions Kieran.
Flynn and Gray are noted in McDermot. Flynn got a full military funeral but no cause of death given. Gray was killed on 6/2/22.
McEvoy was from Ardoyne but killed in action by Free State troops at Ferrycarrig in Wexford.
Pat Duffin is a real oddity. Belfast Graves explicitly says he never joined the IRA yet he is listed on the memorial.
As to Smyth and Burns, it seems odd to have two unrecorded dead on the memorial. I’ll check Irish News (wish they’d digitize it). Possible they were injured and died long enough afterwards that newspapers didn’t report it.
I’ll add McGee and Walker for full list. Will think about options for Duffin.