Vincent Fovargue/Fovaurgue 1901-1921

fourgave escape

Vincent Fovargue was only 20 years old when murdered and had previously been a company intelligence officer with the 4th Battalion of the Dublin Brigade IRA in the Ranelagh area. He had been captured by the British in Dublin and under interrogation he gave away information that resulted in the arrest of the other members of his unit a few days later. In return for this information the British allowed him to escape during a staged ambush in Dublin's South Circular Road.

1899 Oct/Dec Marriage of Robert J Fovargue in Dublin to Elizabeth Larkin

1900Aug 22. Vincent Fovagrue (sic). Birth registration Dublin North Vol: 2, Page 409

1901 census. The only Fovargue (or variant) in Ireland is a Robert Fovargue, aged 36, an electrical engineer, married, visitor in the house of a Joseph Stanton in Cork. No sign of Vincent or Robert's wife. This would appear to be Vincent's father from the earlier marriage

fovargue 1911 census

1911 census living in Dublin at his grandmother's house with his mother and siblings. 2 Moyne Villas, Rathmines. The press report when he died says he was then living at Dunville Av, Dublin with his mother and sister. His mother is a widow with 5 children.

1921 Feb 1. Vincent Fovargue from Ranelagh was being moved from Kilmainham Gaol to Dublin Castle for questioning. While travelling along South Circular Rd in an army lory, an official statement said that the lorry came under small arms fire. The lorry stopped and the escort got out of the lorry to pursue the attackers. In the confusion Fovargue, the prisoner, escaped. The IRA were suspicious that a man under the escort of Intelligence officers could have escaped just like that

David Neligan was in the castle office when McNamara passed him a telephone message on a police form. The message issued by the British Military Head Quarters stated that a Sinn Fein suspect named Fovargue had escaped from three intelligence officers in a car whilst on route to prison and gave a description of his appearance and asked that the British Military be notified in the event of his recapture by the Dublin Metropolitan Police. Neither man was fooled by this as Neligan explained: to tell us that an unarmed man had escaped out of a motor-car in the presence of three presumably armed men was imposing a strain on our credulity. Both of us thought this story too good to be true. The two men passed a copy of the message onto Michael Collins the next day and it would appear from the turn of events that he was not convinced either.

Fovargue fled to England where he appears to have adopted the alias of Richard Staunton in an attempt to either evade detection by his former comrades or deceive new acquaintances into taking him into their confidence. Fovargue had in fact been sent to England by British Intelligence as an agent to try and penetrate the organisation in England.

1921 Apr 3. Found murdered on Ashford, Middlesex, Golf Course with little left of his head . The body was identified as Vincent Fovaurgue or Fovargue, alias Richard Stanton.The traditional message 'Spies and traitors beware.' was pinned to his body and there was a rosary in his hands.There is some discrepancy in the accounts as to who actually murdered Fovargue.

Rex Taylor stated that it was Joseph O'Sullivan (who also shot Field Marshall Wilson); this is supported by Kelleher and Brennan. David Neligan stated that Reggie Dunne carried out the execution and that Dunne was accompanied by Joe Shanahan. Shanahan later told Neligan that on the way back into London, their car was held up by a policeman who informed them that their tail light was not working.



1921 Buried as Vincent Patrick Fovargue at Municipal Cemetery, Ashford, Middlesex GPR grave number 48328

unsolved murders

His mother applied for an IRA pesion, which was turned down.

File relates to Elizabeth Fovargue’s unsuccessful application under the Army Pensions Acts in respect of the death of her son Vincent Fovargue who was shot and killed at Ashford Manor Golf Links, Middlesex, England in April 1921. Deceased was found not to be a member of the Irish Volunteers and so claim did not come within the scope of the Act. - See more at:

1922 Dec 28 The Times reports the murder unsolved.

Basil Thomson