Denis Donovan

Shot 29 Mar 1921. There are no Witness Statements on this shooting. Though Tom Barry declared: ‘The British held such a high opinion of this agent that they compulsorily closed all businesses in Bandon on the day of his funeral. Another reaction of theirs was to burn four republican farmhouses in the neighbourhood of the action.’ See Barry (1949, 1989), 140-41.

We know from the Inquest and press reports that Denis Donovan was a Petty Officer with 23 years service, who had retired about 1919. The Denis Donovan in this service record enlisted May 1895 and retired as a CPO . One can follow his RN career from the births of his children


1880 Jan 15 Born Broadstrand, Cork

1895 May 4. Enlists in RN


1907 Jun 20 Married Kate Leary in Bandon


Births of his 3 children

1917 Nov 21. Invalided out of the RN with shell shock

1921 Mar 29. Shot at his home in Bandon


The widow Kate O’Donovan later claimed £7,000 for the loss of her husband; the court awarded £2,000, to be divided between the widow and her four young children, one of whom was born shortly after the murder.

Ex-soldiers killed in Ireland