William Connell

Refused to pay the Arms Levy, and informed the British Authorities of the names of the men who were collecting the money

 

1862 Born Co Cork

 

1895 Sep 24. Married Elizabeth Annie Patterson

1901 census at Lissanoohig, Cloghdowell, Cork

1911 cnesus at Lissanoohig ,Cloghdonnell, Cork

 

1921 Feb 19. Shot

His wife was a sister of John Good murdered a few weeks alter

IRA Witness Statement In February1921,two farmers in Mohanna area William Connell and William Sweetman who had informed on members of the I.R.A. who had collected the arms levy from them were executed by elected members of the Lisheen company. I do not recollect the names of the men who took part.

IRA Witness Statement Early in February 1921,orders were received from Brigade Headquarters that two Protestant farmers in the Skibbereen area Connell and Sweetman should be executed and their lands forfeited. These farmers had informed the British of the names of the men who had called on them to collect the Arms Fund levy. About this time the Column, under the 0/C.(TomBarry),arrived in the area. It was decided to make arrangements to carry out the Brigade order in the hope that the enemy forces in Skibbereen would move out into the area to investigate the shooting of the two men,and so enable the Column to ambush them.The Column moved into billets.Some local men were selected to take up duty as guards on the homes of Connell and Sweetman until the ambush position had been selected. Amongst the men selected was Patrick O'Driscoll (Mohanna Company). When being detailed for duty,with anothe I.R.A. man ,Patrick O'Driscoll was shot accidentally. As a result the Column withdrew from the area,and at night Tom Barry moved into Skibbereen with the Column.The attack on Skibbereen is described in "Guerilla Days in Ireland " (Tom Barry) chapter 14 pages 87- 95. Patrick O'Driscoll was shot on the night of 8th February 1921.Sometime early in March,1921, Connell and Sweetman were executed. Following their execution my father's house, together with those of Cernelius Connolly (now Battalion 0/C) and John McCarthy, Mohanna, were burned as reprisals by enemy forces

 

The widow was prevented from selling the farm by the IRA. She told the Irish Grants Committee in March 1927: ‘William Connell was murdered because he was a Protestant and loyalist, and Francis Sweetnam for similar reasons was not allowed to purchase the farm.’

Shot by IRA as British spies