Civilian Alfred Kidney


Civilian Alfred Kidney (aged about 31) of Nile Street, Youghal (North Main Street, Youghal)

Date of incident: 4 Feb. 1921 (ex-soldier killed as suspected spy by the IRA)

Sources: CE, 5, 9 Feb. 1921; CC, 5, 7 Feb. 1921; CWN, 12 Feb. 1921; RIC County Inspector’s Report, Cork City and East Riding, Feb. 1921 (CO 904/114, TNA); Register of Compensation Commission (Ireland) Cases of Private Persons (CO 905/15, TNA); Malicious Injury Claims, Box 16/78, Cork County Secretary Files (CCCA); Ó Ruairc (2016), 120.               


Note: The Cork Examiner reported that at about 8 p.m. on the night of 4 February 1921, Alfred Kidney had been ‘fired at and gravely wounded’ in North Main Street in Youghal.  ‘Some time ago’, according to this report, an attempt had been ‘made to kidnap him’. See CE, 5 Feb. 1921. The victim died of his wounds very soon afterwards. A court of military inquiry into Kidney’s death concluded that crown forces were not responsible. At this inquiry ‘a police officer asked permission to make a few remarks as to the rumour circulated by some busybodies locally with regard to the crime. They said that it had been committed by a Black and Tan. He took that opportunity of giving the most emphatic contradiction to that lie. When the matter [of the shooting] was reported to him, he accounted for every single man under him but one, and that one was in Miss Fitzgerald’s shop when the shots were fired. He had it from the lady herself that the constable in question had acted with the greatest humanity and promptitude on the occasion, and being a trained nurse herself, she was in a position to speak.’ See CE, 9 Feb. 1921. The reported attempt to kidnap Kidney on an earlier occasion might suggest that this was an IRA killing. In confirmation the RIC County Inspector’s Report for February 1921 revealed that Kidney, an ex-soldier, had been seriously wounded on a public street in Youghal and had quickly succumbed; the report added that Kidney had been suspected of giving information about the IRA to the military. See RIC County Inspector’s Report, Cork City and East Riding, Feb. 1921 (CO 904/114, TNA).


Alfred Kidney was one of the six children (seven born) of the cabinetmaker and widower William F. Kidney of 11 Nile Street in Youghal. Like his father, Alfred Kidney (aged 21 in 1911) was also a cabinetmaker; both father and son were unemployed in that year. The Kidneys were Catholic. The name of Alfred Kidney appears in the Compensation Commission Register under 4 February 1921, with the notation that British liability was accepted, and with a note that compensation of £750 was awarded. See Register of Compensation Commission (Ireland) Cases of Private Persons (CO 905/15, TNA).


News & Events

University College Cork, Western Road, Cork, Ireland   |    +353(21) 480 2110   |
Copyright © UCC 2015/Irish Examiner 2015   |   Website by Doodle