Thomas Looby

This is an odd one. There was a Thomas Looby shot in the area at this time. Unless it can be shown otherwise, there was not a "spy" called Looby shot by the IRA here in March 1921. but he appears to have been an IRA man shot by the British. The Witness Statement is not reliable

John Hayes also was killed. , Volunteers John Hayes & Thomas Looby, were both members 3rd Tipperay Brigade, Irish Republican Army were killed in this engagement

1901 Born


1921 Mar 1. Shot in Tipperary

But then this Witness Statement. It makes no mention of Hayes being shot, nor of a clash with British Forces

WS 1187 Sometime about March of 1921, the Column leader sent three members of the Column, Martin Quinlan, Andy Kennedy and myself, to arrest a spy named Looby. Our instructions were that we would get him on the road between Golden and Thomastown (Co. Tipperary) when he was on his way home from Thomastown. We waited for him from about 8 p.m. until ll p.m. and had given up hope of getting him that night when he came along, singing and shouting. When we accosted him and told him we were members of the I.R.A.. and that we were taking him to an unknown destination, the singing and shouting soon stopped and he became very despondent.

We took him to Grantstown Castle (then unoccupied) where Denis Lacy, the Column Leader, and Paddy (Pack) Ryan were waiting for us. Lacy then sent for Fr. Matt Ryan of Donaskea to attend to the spiritual needs of the prisoner. Fr. Ryan remained alone with Looby for abut an hour and a half. He then came out of the room end chatted with me for a while, after which he went back to Looby and stayed a further half-hour with him. After Fr. Ryan had departed, the five of us (Lacy) Ryan, Quinlan, Kennedy and myself) took Looby back towards the road where he had been arrested..

On the way, Lacy and I decided we would say a Rosary for him before we executed him. This we did, but I can't say whether Looby joined in it with us, or not. On reaching the road, the five of us formed a firing party and shot him at the side of the road. We then fastened a label around his neck. On the label was written, "Executed by the I.R.A. Spies and Informers, beware!". It was then near daybreak. We left him when we shot him. Lacy and I then went on to the house of James Ryan at Donohill and stayed that day there.

I cannot say what offences Looby was guilty of, or who gave the instructions to Denis Lacy to have him executed. So far as I was concerned, I was only carrying out the orders I received from Lacy.

The British Inquest on Looby


Shot by IRA as British spies