James Herlihy


James Herlihy was undoubtedly shot in Cork in Aug 1920. But his body was secretly buried, so there is no death certificate. Nor are there any press reports as he was not publicly shot


1878 This may be his birth, but I cannot get a cross check


1911 census at 11 Kearny's Lane, Cork This may be his family, but again no cross check


I cannot get a record of James Herlihy joining the British Army. There are too many options without any substantiating data


1920 Aug 20. Shot

IRA Witness Statement The presence of enemy spies in our districts was a constant menace to our activities. Many of these spies (apart from those already referred to) came from the ex-British army class. One such was a man named James Herlihy who lived in G Company district. He, and some other civilians, were known to our Intelligence Service to be in touch with the British military and to have supplied to them the names of prominent I.R.A. men in our district. We also learned that these spies had been supplied with revolvers (by the British) for their protection in case of attack by the I.R.A. As the result of military raids on houses of prominent I.R.A .men in our area, it became known that Herlihy was one of those who had given information and we were instructed by the Brigade to pick him up. One morning, he was taken into custody by men from G/Company and removed to the Pouladuff district south of the city, where he was executed by a firing squad from the company, on instructions from the Brigade. I knew Herlihy very well and asked him, the day before he was executed, why he gave us away to the enemy. He said he could give no reason why he did it, but added that he had given the military a wrong address in my own case. This ,in fact, was quite true, because the 'address' he gave for me was literally torn apart by the military when searching there for me. I was, of course ,elsewhere at the time.

IRA Witness StatementWe suspected that the enemy had been tipped off by some informer, and, as a result, all enemy barracks were watched by us for civilians entering or leaving. Eventually suspicion fell on two men named Herlihy and Lynch. Our suspicions were confirmed as a result of information passed on to us by a man named Conroy who was employed as a confidential clerk in the Victoria military barracks, Cork. An attempt was made to capture Lynch, butt his failed. Herlihy, however, was taken up and charged with being an accomplice of Lynch. He (Herlihy) was identified by Conroy as being one of the men he had seen in the barracks and whom he knew to have given information to the military authorities regarding certain prominent I.R.A men in our area in which he (Herlihy) lived. On instructions from our brigade, Herlihy was taken out to the Farmer's Cross district and shot. His body was buried there.




Shot by IRA as British spies