Denis Lehane


There seems to be only one source for this death, that is from an interview with Mick Leahy with Ernie O'Mally. And Leahy is relying on what was told to him by Martin Corry who ran the Knockraha Gaol

Denis Lehane was certainly not a RIC man. Corry is not noted for being a particularly truthful witness. So whether or not Denis Lehane existed or not is not proveable

Interview with Michael (Mick) Leahy, Ernie O’Malley Notebooks, P17b/108 (UCDA);

Note: The former East Cork Volunteer leader Mick Leahy, who worked in close association with the notorious Martin Corry (Leahy called Corry the ‘chief executioner’ around Knockraha), claimed that the first person whom he had personally executed was ‘an R.I.C. man named Dinny Lehane’. According to Mick Leahy’s interview with Ernie O’Malley, Lehane was in the company of an armed RIC escort on a barge that travelled from Cork city down the River Lee to Hawlbowline for supplies. A Volunteer in civvies who had gotten aboard the barge on a pretense reportedly witnessed Lehane ‘making a bee line to get away’ after an RIC lookout on duty had fallen asleep. The Volunteer ‘collared him [Lehane and] then sent up for some of the boys. They found papers . . . ; he was an R.I.C. man and had a list of men who were on the run whom he was spotting.’ Firmly convinced that Lehane belonged to the RIC [very unlikely], the IRA took him as a prisoner to Knockraha. After a court-martial he was sentenced to death by firing squad, but in the end Lehane was shot and killed by Volunteer Edward Moloney, the so-called ‘governor’ of ‘Sing Sing’. Lehane had told his IRA captors that he was not a Catholic, but on the edge of eternity he asked to see a priest. Mick Leahy replied that it was too late, but he did say the Act of Contrition for Lehane and had him repeat it after him. ‘Then we all knelt down and said the Rosary before we shot him.’ See Interview with Michael (Mick) Leahy, Ernie O’Malley Notebooks, P17b/108 (UCDA)

Leahy's Witness Statement shows that he was away from Ireland from the beginning of January 1921 until late June 1921, so it is probably that Lehane was exexecuted in late 1920

There is only one possible Denis Lehane on RIC Register, but it is not him. 1886 Sep 22. Born Cork :1914 Nov 24 Married: 1907 Jul 1. Enlisted in RIC: 1907 Dec 17. Posted to Co. Tipperary: 1919 Mar 7. Died of Influenza



Shot by IRA as Spies