IRA Soldier Michael Joseph Geelan

 

IRA Soldier Michael Joseph Geelan (aged about 23) of Woodstock near Midleton (near Carrigtwohill)

Date of incident: ca. 8 Oct. 1921

Sources: Death Certificate (Midleton District, Union of Midleton), 10 Oct. 1921; CE, 12, 13 Oct. 1921; CWN, 15 Oct. 1921; Military Courts of Inquiry, WO 35/150/64 (TNA); Cork No. 1 Brigade Memorial, Republican Plot, Holy Rosary Cemetery, Midleton; Last Post (3rd ed.), 145; http://www.irishwarmemorials.ie/pdf/438.pdf (accessed 20 Feb. 2018).

 

Note: Michael Joseph Geelan was fatally injured in a road accident on ca. 8 October 1921 near Carrigtwohill and died at the North Infirmary in Cork city on 10 October. The cause of death was blood poisoning following his injuries. Employed as a farm labourer, he was reportedly the son of a policeman. See Death Certificate (Midleton District, Union of Midleton), 10 Oct. 1921; CE, 13 Oct. 1921; CWN, 15 Oct. 1921. Geelan was struck by a police lorry while riding on his motorbike between Midleton and Carrigtwohill. The RIC claimed that Geelan had no lights on his motorbike and that he had been driving on the wrong side of the road. See Military Courts of Inquiry, WO 35/150/64 (TNA). A separate inquest was held by the Irish Republican Police. See CE, 12 Oct. 1921. Geelan’s name (as Michael S. Geelan) appears with a death date of 10 October 1921 on the Cork No. 1 Brigade memorial at the Republican Plot in Holy Rosary Cemetery in Midleton. See Last Post (3rd ed.), 143; http://www.irishwarmemorials.ie/pdf/438.pdf (accessed 20 Feb. 2018).

 

Michael Joe Geelan was in 1911 a resident in the house of his grandmother Margaret Lawton (aged 71) and her son James Lawton (aged 30) at house 1 in Woodstock townland near Carrigtwohill. James Lawton was an unmarried farmer, while Michael Joe Geelan (then aged 12) was still in school. The 1901 census return for this household clarifies the situation somewhat. At that time Michael Joe’s mother Margaret Lawton Geelan (then aged 29), a widow and one of three adult and co-resident children of Michael and Margaret Lawson, was still part of this farming household.    

 


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