Thomas Downing


Downing was an ex-soldier and the son of an ex-RIC man. He was kidnapped while going to a Discharged Soldiers’ and Sailors’ meeting on Tuesday 23 November 1920 according to Cork Examiner. Immediately after his disappearance a notice was circulated in Cork: ‘Kidnapping in Cork. Notice. If Mr Downey [sic] is not returned to his home within 56 hours, Cork citizens prepare, especially Sinn Feiners. Black and Tans.’ He worked as a civilian telegrapher for the Royal Engineers at Victoria Barracks


1881 Born



1901 census at 33 Gillabbey Street , Cork


1911 Feb 24 Married in Cork


1911 census at Wellington Terrace , Cork


1920 Nov 24. Kidnapped and later shot in Cork. He was executed as a spy by city Volunteers on 28 November 1920.

There is a report from Florrie O'Donoughue to the IRA's Adjutant General that Downing had been convicted and shot was a spy. But there are no Witness Statement, and Downings body has never been found, so no death certificate

His name appears in the Compensation Commission Register with an ‘L’ for Liability (ie British), different autors say either £38 in compensation was awarded.. Another record, however, indicates that his wife Bridget Downing was awarded compensation of £300 for her husband’s death.




Shot by IRA as Spies