RIC Constable Patrick Joseph Walsh (aged 23) from Turloughbeg, Rosmuck, Co. Galway (Churchtown)
Date of incident: 12 Feb. 1921
Sources: CE, 14, 16 Feb. 1921; FJ, 14 Feb. 1921; II, 14 Feb. 1921; CCE, 19 Feb. 1921; Kerryman, 19 Feb. 1921; Connacht Telegraph, 19 Feb. 1921; Nenagh Guardian, 19 Feb. 1921; Weekly Summary of Outrages against the Police, Feb. 1921 (CO 904/148-50, TNA); Michael Geary and Richard Smith’s WS 754, 20-21 (BMH); Thomas Culhane’s WS 831, 7-8 (BMH); Abbott (2000), 198-99.
Note: Constable Walsh ‘was shot dead at Churchtown, about five miles from Charleville, on Saturday night [12 February 1921]. He was a native of Turloughbeg, Rossmuck, Connemara, and was the son of an ex-head constable and publican.’ See FJ, 14 Feb. 1921. The official British report indicated that Walsh had been shot dead ‘within 100 yards of the police barracks [at Churchtown] at 9:45 p.m.’ on that Saturday night. It related that he had been transferred to Churchtown only recently, had been to Buttevant on leave, and had just left a public house in Churchtown on his way back to the RIC barracks there ‘when he was attacked as he passed a gateway near Mrs O’Keefe’s. Eight shots were fired, one of which penetrated the brain, blowing away part of the head. Death was instantaneous.’ See II, 14 Feb. 1921. Abbott reports incorrectly that the killing took place after Walsh had left a public house in Charleville and while he was returning to the Charleville RIC barracks. See Abbott (2000), 198-99. The killing was carried out by members of the Charleville Battalion column of the Cork No. 2 Brigade, then commanded by Paddy O’Brien. After the shooting ‘some of the brigade column and some members of the unit column lay in wait on the Churchtown-Buttevant road on the expecation that reinforcements from Buttevant would be rushed out; none turned up, however.’ See Michael Geary and Richard Smith’s WS 754, 20-21 (BMH). Walsh had four years of service with the RIC and had never had other employment.