Francis Crossley Boyle


1883 Born Lismore, Waterford


1891 census living in Bristol


1901 census at Prospect , Drangan, Tipperary - he appears to have been living at the same address in 1921 when he was shot


1911 census at Prospect , Drangan, Tipperary - he appears to have been living at the same address in 1921 when he was shot


1921 Jun 12. Kidnapped

1921 Jun 13 Shot

IRA Witness Statement Another incident, which occurred about the time Dinny Saddleir was shot, was the arrest, trial and execution of a spy, named Boyle. I think he was a planter, land-grabber, a man who had taken over an eviction farm or something like that, in the Drangan area. He was suspected of acting as an enemy spy or tout, and proof having been obtained against him, he was arrested and tried. His sentence was sent to Brigade Headquarters for confirmation, and this came back with an order detailing the four men who were to carry out the execution. My name was amongst the four. This was, I believe, because of my facetious remark to Lacey about D.I. Potter. Boyle was shot at Killousty, and his body was labelled as a spy and left there. I was not present at the courtmartial, so I do not know what evidence was produced against him. I was merely detailed as one of the execution party and carried out my orders

IRA Witness Statement During my time as Commandant of the 7th Battalion three men were executed in my area as spies. They were George Stone of Killusty, Christopher Boyle of Drangan and George Lysaght of Kilburry, Cloneen. Stone was what we called an "emergency man", that is, he occupied and lived on a farm from which the lawful tenant had been evicted. He was constantly in the company of R.I.C. men and British military, and it was felt that he was giving them any information he could gather about Volunteer or column movements in his district. We did not arrest him, but in his absence he was tried by a court comprised of brigade and battalion officers and sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out a morning or two later. Either five or six of us kept his house under observation and when he left it early one morning we followed him along the road towards Fethard and shot him at the roadside. A label "Spies beware"4 was tied around his neck and his body was left at the spot where he was shot. Like Stone, Boyle, too, was an "emergency man". He occupied a farm near Drangan and R.I.C. men and milita were in the habit of visiting him. At times they provided protection for him by remaining on or about his farm. We took Boyle into custody and held him a prisoner in various places for two or three days. He was tried by courtmartial but made no defence to the charge of spying for the enemy. He was executed by a firing party of three, who left the body with a label similar to that on Stone on the road at Claremore near Cloheen.

British Inquiry


Shot by IRA as British spies