James Clarke

appeared on the list of ‘missing persons’ published in the Irish Times of 22 August 1921.

1921 Mar 19. Shot in Co Cork

James Clarke was the Chauffeur/Butler to Mrs Mary Lindsay and he was kidnapped with her on 17 February 1921 as suspected spies; they were later tried by the IRA and sentenced to death for passing information to British forces in connection with the Dripsey ambush of 28 January 1921.

This ambush ended in disaster for the large IRA contingent (about seventy men) under Captain Frank Busteed . Mrs Lindsay, Clarke's employer had tipped off British troops of the 1st Manchester Regiment at Ballincollig Barracks. Mary Lindsay had been driven to Ballincollig barracks by Clarke.

After holding Clarke and Mrs Lindsay as hostages for almost a month, the IRA executed them together at Flagmount in the Rylane district on 11 March 1921 and secretly buried their bodies. They were executed in retaliation for the executions by the British in Cork of five of the eight Volunteers captured at Dripsey.

The events surrounding the deaths of Clarke and Mrs Lindsay have been extensively researched and I will not cover them here

James Clarke appears to have been involved because he was Mrs Clarke's driver, and once under IRA arrest, they could not release him as he knew too much about his captors



Shot by IRA as British spies