Tom Bradfield of Desertsergus


It is difficult to separate the two Tom Bradfield shot within a few days of each other. In fact the WS 1684 of Spud Murphy seems to indicate that both had fallen for the same trap by the column. The two Toms were cousins

It is known that the column had as a member Peter Monaghan was a British Army Deserter who joined the IRA who could have been mistaken for an ADRIC


1865 Jan 19. Born Bandon Dispensary, Co Cork son of John Bradfield and Anne Holsford

1896 Feb 13 Married , for the first time, to Elizabeth Jagoe


1897 Oct 27. A daughter born


1897 Oct 29 His wife died of complications from childbirth.


1901 census at Knocknapogaree, Kinsale Rural


1903 Apr 28 Married a second time


1911 census at Knockmacool, Boulteen, Cork


1918 May. The Irish Revolution cites Tom Bradfield as being the man that shot Michael Crowley in 1918, but I cannot tie this Tom Bradfied to the undoubted shooting of Crowley. I cannot find a press report

IRA Witness Statement some weeks later, I was one of a party of four invited to assist a company at Ahiohill, Clonakilty, in making similar raids. At the last house listed for raiding, on bursting in the door, I was shot by the occupant, receiving a full charge of shot in left lung from a range of approx. five yards. The occupant was driven back to the rear of the house by revolver fire and I was removed. I was about three months recovering from my wound, as raiding continually by R.I.C. and military necessitated frequent changes of houses. Reports circulated of my death eve ntually eased off the pressure of raiding.

IRA Witness Statement Con O'Mahony, then O/C. Ahiohill Coy. and 'on the run.' at the time, took part in the training camp at Lake House Maraboro. While there he solicited the aid of a few Kiribrittaib Volunteers. for the purpose of raiding some loyalists' house in his own area for arms. In response to his request the aforesaid five men cycled to Ahiohill fifteen miles distant and, having successfully raided a few houses, they went on to that of Bradfield. Before the remainder. of the party had surrounded this house, M. Crowley, aided by C. Crowley, an Ahiohill man, all armed with revolvers, quickly quickly forced the front door opposite to which was the stairway cut off from view by a heavy curtain hanging at the foot. Immediately M. Crowley stepped into the hall he received in the chest the full charge from a shotgun fired from the head of the stairs through the curtain. His comrades immediately returned the fire while the wounded man was carried to a nearby house where he was quickly attended to by a doctor who forbade any 'I further removal. His comrades removed him that night to the house of the local Catholic Curate where, under armed guard, he remained for some weeks after which he was brought back to his own company area for convalescence. V


1921 Feb 1 Shot

He was working in his turnip field when he was picked up by 3 armed men picked him up. They had ascertained his whereabouts by calling at his brother's farm, and took him back to the brother's farm, before taking him away across country. His body was later found beside the road at Castlederry

IRA Witness Statement While in billets in Ahiohill reports from the I.R.A. Intelligence Section caused investigations to be made in connection with a farmer named Bradfield who resided in the district. As a result of the investigations it was found that this man was a British spy. He was arrested, courtmarialled, found guilty and sentenced to be shot. He was executed on Tuesday night, lst February.

IRA Witness Statement The remainder of the column, under Tom Barry, moved into Clonakilty battalion area. We were in the Ahiohill district on the night of 31st January 1921, when the column 0/C. asked Dan Corcoran and myself to accompany him to the house of Thomas Bradfield, Desertserges. We were driven there in a horse and trap by Tim Coffey, Breaghanna, Enniskeane. Tom Barry approached the house and asked the maid whether Mr. Bradfield was at home. She said that he was out in the fields. Dan Corcoran accompanied the maid to the field to call Bradfield and to inform him that the officer wanted him. We were all wearing Sam Browne belts outside our trench coats and Bradfield assumed that we were members of the British forces. When Bradfield came in he welcomed us and invited us into the sitting-oom where he gave us some refreshments. He sat down and began to talk to Tom Barry about the activities of the I.R.A in the area, giving a of name of prominent officers. At this stage I had taken up position at the front door and Dan Corcoran was likewise at the back door. When Bradfield had given sufficient information, Tom Barry disclosed his identity and Bradfield was certainly shocked. We immediately placed him under arrest and removed him on foot to Ahiohill area. He was tried that night and when we were moving from Ahiohill to Burgatia House on the night of 1st Feb. 1921, Bradfield was executed. His body was labelled as that of a spy and was left on the roadside. We travelled by horse and trap to Cahermore Cross and then walked the remainder of the journey - about one mile - to Burgatia House. This house was occupied by a loyalist family named Kingston. It was about one mile from the R.I.C. barracks at Rosscarbery which we were to attack the following night.

IRA Witness Statement The column in the meantime took up ambush positions in the vicinity at Carhue on the Bandon-Newcestown road. We remained in position until about 4 p.m. and then withdrew to billets without making contact with the enemy. When one section of the column under Denis Lordan was approaching their selected billet, the owner was just returning from the town of Bandon. He (the owner) evidently thought that our men were British and accused them of being too slow. He asked where we were all day while "those ruffians were in ambush positions at Carhue Hill". "They are gone now", he said, "and ye can be looking for them". He then gave us the hiding places of some of the local I.R.A. men and told us that we should be out at night as well as the day. He promised that he would give us any information he had on the following Tuesday at the canteen in the Devonshire Arms Hotel, Bandon, which was the H.Q. of the Black and Tans in Bandon at this time. He was immediately arrested and executed about 10.30 p.m. that night. The column now crossed the Bandon river




Shot by IRA as British spies