Volunteer (Timothy) Christopher O’Sullivan


Volunteer (Timothy) Christopher O’Sullivan (aged about 29) of Cork Road, Midleton (Clonmult)

Date of incident: 20 Feb. 1921 (killed after surrender)

Sources: CE, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 Feb. 1921; II, 24, 25 Feb. 1921; Military Inquests, WO 35/155A/53 (TNA); Seán O’Mahony Papers, MS 44,047/3 (NLI); Joseph Aherne’s WS 1367, 52-58 (BMH); Michael Kearney’s WS 1418, 21-23 (BMH); Patrick J. Whelan’s WS 1449, 51-58 (BMH); John P. O’Connell’s WS 1444, 15 (BMH); John Kelleher’s WS 1456, 23-24 (BMH); Patrick J. Higgins’s WS 1467, 3-7 (BMH); Diarmuid O’Leary’s WS 1589, 4-8 (BMH); Roll of Honour, Cork No. 1 Brigade (Cork Public Museum, Fitzgerald Park, Cork); Last Post (1976), 81; O’Neill (2006), 62, 96-100; Borgonovo (2007), 88; ‘The Irish Rebellion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 84-85, 143; Rebel Cork’s FS, 190-95; Sheehan (2011), 125; Midleton IRA Memorial, Main Street, Midleton; Cork No. 1 Brigade Memorial, Holy Rosary Cemetery, Midleton; Clonmult Ambush Site Memorial; Clonmult Village Memorial; http://midletonheritage.com/2015/12/11/few-families-suffered-as-we-did-war-of-independence-pension-files-associated-with-midleton/ (accessed 13 March 2016).    


Note: A member of B Company of the Fourth Battalion of the Cork No. 1 Brigade, Volunteer Christopher O’Sullivan was killed after surrendering

at Clonmult. He was shot through the heart. He was one of at least three children (two sons and a daughter) of the widowed National Teacher Mary O’Sullivan of Town Parks in Midleton. He was buried in the Republican Plot of Holy Rosary Cemetery in Midleton.


Volunteer O’Sullivan had joined the British army at the outbreak of the Great War and had served for three years. After coming home from the war, he had joined the IRA and was attached to the Flying Column of the Fourth (Midleton) Battalion. He had been employed as a solicitor’s clerk in Midleton, and like his brother, who worked in the Midleton Post Office, he had contributed to his widowed mother’s maintenance. Even though he had not been working for some twelve months prior to his death, his mother claimed that his weekly payments of £1 continued until the Clonmult disaster. (She had been retired since 1915; her husband had been dead since 1901.) See Garda Sergeant A. Beirne to Chief Superintendent, Cork city, 22 Feb. 1924, and her ‘pension’ application, 30 Nov. 1923.


Volunteer O’Sullivan’s mother (who called him Timothy) was not cast into penury by the killing of her son. She enjoyed a pension of £75 per annum as a retired National School teacher. A surviving son contributed to her maintenance. In addition, she received £50 from the White Cross, as did other dependents or relatives of the Clonmult victims. Mary O’Sullivan also secured a gratuity of £50 from the Army Pensions Board. That award, however, came only after the initial denial of her claim for a dependent’s allowance ‘caused a good deal of surprise and was talked of all over the locality’. See William J. Barry to Ministry of Defence, 8 Oct. 1924. See http://midletonheritage.com/2015/12/11/few-families-suffered-as-we-did-war-of-independence-pension-files-associated-with-midleton/ (accessed 13 March 2016).   

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