James Kane

Former RIC sergeant James Kane, accused of informing in the aftermath of the killing of DI Tobias O’Sullivan in Listowel. The IRA believe he gave information leading to the arrest of eight men for the killing of DI O'Sullivan. They, the IRA, say they found evidence of Kane's actions on RIC Divisional Commander Holmes when they captured him after the ambush at Toureengarriv on the 28th January.

1856 Born

1877 Sep 27 Enlisted in RIC

1878 Jul 27 Posted to Tipperary

1891 Jul 26 Married in Tipperary

1891 Sep 22. Posted to Kerry

1900 Sep 1. Promoted Segt in RIC

1901 census at The Square, Listowel Urban, Kerry

1910 Jun 28 Pensioned from RIC as a Sergeant

1911 census at Courthouse Road, Listowel Urban, Kerry

1921 Jun 11. Shot in Co Kerry


IRA Witness Statement As far as I can remember, it was about the middle of May 1921, when we received a dispatch from H.Q .in Dublin containing an order to have an ex-R.I.C man named Kane arrested and executed immediately. Denis Quille made arrangements at once to have him arrested. I twas known that Kane wentf or a walk along the banks of the River Feale practically every evening. He lived in a house in the Square at Listowel quite adjacent to a house occupied by the Auxiliaries. Those ordered to arrest Kane and bring him to where the column was located had been waiting for him for three or four evenings, but he had failed to make an appearance.....

When we returned in the morning after carrying out the operation successfully, I was informed by Quille that Kane had been arrested and escorted to a house near Gale Bridge on the road leading from Moyvane- then known as Newtowns and escort him toKnockanure where he was under guard. I suggested to Denis Quille that we should send a priest- Father O'Shea- to the house where the prisoner was detained to hear his confession and to get him to make his will ...

He then handed me his will which I read carefully. It contained nothing that would cause us any anxiety. He then said to me:"Are you sure it will be delivered to my family?" I replied :"Yes, I give you my word of honour that it will be delivered".He then said:"I want to make one request, take me as near as ye possibly can to the town of Listowel". I told him we would do everything possible toc omply with his request....

It was getting bright as we proceeded in the direction of Listowel with an advance guard in front, also aguard at the rear. We had gone a reasonable distance and, as it was clear daylight, I whispered to Denis Quille that it was time to halt. He agreed and I halted the party and explained to the prisoner that we would not proceed further. I asked him if he would like to say a prayer and he said "yes". I gave him my Rosary beads and we knelt on the grass margin near the ditch with the prisoner and said a decade of the Rosary with him. We then stood up and the prisoner remained on his knees praying.After a few minutes, I touched him on the shoulder and he got up. I asked him if he would like to be blindfolded and he said " Yes, it would be better". I then asked the prisoner if he had anything to say before he was executed, and he said," All I have to say is this. Ye are the finest youngmen I have ever met, and the only thing I am sorry for is that I am not dying for Ireland!"...

With a draw that had been practised for fifteen minutes twice per day,all revolvers left the holsters simultaneously with a speed that should be seen to be believed. The prisoner swayed back against the ditch and slid gently to the ground. In a second, Denis Quille had the usual label fastened to his coat. Firing party,secure arms;right turn;quick march. We contacted our scout soon after and left the main road and travelled through fields until we were safe. Noone had spoken so far. I said to Quille :"Denis, a brave man has died"."I thoroughly agree with you he said."


IRA Witness Statement About this time I received informstion from the battalion I.O.-Tim Walsh- that an ex-sergeant of the R.I.C .named Keane, who was living in the Square, Listowel, was a spy. He had been going to people in the town and to country people making inquiries as to the movements of the flying column. Keane was an Inspector of Fisheries at this time, but at this period he never travelled far from the town. We had his movements watched. He was under observation for a week when, one day, he went to the salmon weir on the River Flale, which was situated to the south side of Listowel.

Two Volunteers, who were waiting for him, arrested him, took him down the bank of the river to Finue about three miles distant and handed him over to the Finue company. The Finue company brought him to the flying column who executed him on 14th June 1921. This man had been previously courtmartialled and sentenced to death for being a spy. At the time, the Brigade 0/C. did not consider there was sufficient evidence .to justify his execution. I again reported the matter to Cahill, who subsequently sanctioned the execution




Later in that month, fishing summonses were not proceeded with.

Shot by IRA as British spies