Volunteer Bryan Crowley


Volunteer Bryan Crowley (aged about 27) of Dunkettle near Cork city (Patrick Street, Cork city)

Date of incident: 10 Sept. 1919

Sources: Death Certificate, 19 Dec. 1919; II, 18 Sept. 1919; CWN, 20 Sept. 1919; John Fanning’s WS 990, 12 (BMH).


Note: Crowley was accidentally killed by a British military lorry in Patrick Street, Cork. ‘At an inquest on Bryan Crowley, killed in Cork on 10th inst[an]t, by a military lorry conveying Fermoy prisoners to jail, the jury found that the death was accidental, but that the lorry was being driven at excessive speed.’ See II, 18 Sept. 1919. Volunteer John Fanning, captain of the Fermoy Company, was among those arrested in the aftermath of the killing of Private William Jones in the attack on the soldiers outside the Wesleyan Methodist church in Fermoy. Fanning later related the circumstances under which Bryan Crowley had died: ‘Following the identification parade [in Fermoy], we were removed to Cork Gaol under military escort, which included two armoured cars. Jack Mulvey, Rathcormac, was also included in the party. He had been arrested early on the morning of September 9th, 1919 ((I think). On our way through Cork city the lorry in which we were travelling was in collision with a cyclist who was killed on the spot. As a result of this accident, the convoy was halted and a large crowd collected. The officer in charge of the escort instructed them to shoot the prisoners if there was any trouble. The cyclist who was killed in the collision was a Volunteer.’ See John Fanning’s WS 990, 12 (BMH).


Volunteer Bryan Crowley’s death certificate indicates that he died on 19 December 1919 as a result of having been struck accidently while cycling by a motorcar driven by Private Thomas Williams on Patrick Street in Cork. See Death Certificate, 19 Dec. 1919. This was the first of many such fatal accidents between military vehicles and civilians in the city during the 1919-21 conflict.


Volunteer Bryan Crowley was one of the ten children of the Dunkettle general labourer James Crowley (aged 68 in 1911) and his much younger wife Kate (aged 52). Their son Bryan was then the youngest (aged 19) of the four children (three sons and a daughter) still living at home with their parents. 


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