John Harrison

This appears to be a bodged IRA execution, to which no individual in the IRA claims to be responsible. Harrison was bludgeoned to death


1868 Feb 23 Born Drumreilly, Leitrim



1921 Apr 22. Killed in Drumreilly

Irish Times O’Halpin also points to a case from the Leitrim IRA “Activities” file relating to a Protestant farmer, John Harrison, who was killed in April 1921. The file indicates this was the culmination of a dispute that began the previous October when Harrison refused to contribute to an IRA arms levy. Mediated settlement The IRA then took his “best cow” and forced him to hand over a revolver. A local Protestant clergyman then mediated a settlement. Harrison paid the IRA levy and got his cow back. However, the IRA believed he had a second gun so they abducted him and fired shots over him but “still he’d give up no gun”. Harrison was released but, later, orders were given to execute him. According to a member of the IRA unit, “He begged us not to kill him [but] I said we had to carry out our orders. We told him he had to come with us. We also told [him] he needed no coat.” Harrison was shot about 300 yards from his house and his death led to an exodus of Protestants from the area.


IRA Witness Statement In April, 1921, a man named John Harrison was shot dead at Drumreilly, Ballinamore. Harrison, I understand, was shot by our men for being a spy or intelligence agent for the British forces. I was not in brigade intelligence at this time and I do not know the detail

IRA Witness Statement In April of that year the Aughnawillian Company held up the train at Garadice station and took the mails from it. I don't know the details or what information was got from this raid but it was confirmed hat a man named Harrison, who had been under suspicion for a long time, was an enemy agent or spy. Harrison was taken out one night and shot. He was a Protestant. This operation was carried out entirely by members of the Aughnawillian Company.


Shot by IRA as British spies