Volunteer James Foley


Volunteer James Foley (aged about 26) of Kilbonane (Currahaly near Farran)

Date of incident: 1 April 1921

Sources: Death Certificate (Canaway District, Union of Macroom), 1 April 1921; Patrick Cronin’s WS 710, 5-6 (BMH); WS 810 of Tim Herlihy et al., 28 (BMH); Michael O’Regan’s WS 1524, 7; Michael Foley’s WS 1534, 1, 6 (BMH); Roll of Honour, Cork No. 1 Brigade (Cork Public Museum, Fitzgerald Park, Cork).


Note: Captain of D Company (Aherla) of the Third Battalion of Cork No. 1 Brigade and then battalion vice-commandant, Foley ‘was shot and killed by accident before the Truce came. He was shouldered by all the Volunteers of the battalion from Farran to Kilbonane Graveyard for his burial, and the flag was on his coffin.’ Patrick Cronin succeeded Foley as company captain. See Patrick Cronin’s WS 710, 5-6 (BMH).


According to Michael Foley (also a Volunteer), his brother James was shot accidentally at Farran on 1 March 1921 (see below about his date of death) while ‘bringing his column home from Macroom, where they had been held as a reserve force for a brigade operation west of Macroom town’. See Michael Foley’s WS 1534, 6. James Foley was mortally wounded in the stomach by a fellow member of the Flying Column of the Cork No. 1 Brigade ‘who was examining his rifle’ and unintentionally discharged it. See Michael O’Regan’s WS 1524, 7. Michael Foley succeeded his dead brother as battalion vice-commandant in April 1921.


Volunteer James Foley was one of the eleven living children (twelve born) of the Aherla More (Kilbonane) contractor James Foley and his wife Emily; nine of the children (seven sons and two daughters) were co-resident with their parents in 1911. James Foley Jr (then aged 16) was the fourth son. Foley’s death certificate gives his date of death as 1 April 1921, notes that he was a builder’s assistant aged 24, and attributes his death at Currahaly near Farran to shock and haemorrhage owing to a bullet wound through the abdomen after seventeen hours of suffering. See Death Certificate (Canaway District, Union of Macroom), 1 April 1921.

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