Bridget Noble

Kidnapped and executed by the IRA. She is on the Irish Times list of "Missing" on 22 Aug 1922. Her body has never been found


1876 Jan 13. Born



1907 Married


1911 census at Ardgroom Inward, Kilcatherine, Cork


1921 Mar 4. Shot Cork

A claim was brought by her husbnd Alexander Noble. Compensation Commission Register noted her as a ‘British supporter’, and awarded £1,500 compensation. See Register of Compensation Commission (CO 905/15, TNA).

The Irish Revolution research gave this as the reason for Bridget Noble's death

In response to a request from IRA GHQ in Dublin, the leaders of Cork No. 5 Brigade drafted a report dated 21 October 1921.

This report pointed out that Bridget Noble had been seen by some of the men of C Company of the Castletownbere Battalion going into the local police barracks on four or five occasions and had been seen in conversation with a police sergeant in a private house on two occasions. At one point, after she had returned from a hospital visit, her hair was ‘bobbed’ or shorn, as a punishment ordered by the local IRA battalion. Subsequently, her house was searched (after a military raid) by order of the captain of the Ardgroom Volunteer Company, and in this search part of a letter from the RIC head constable in Castletownbere was found, along with five half-torn letters from other RIC members and two photographs of RIC men.

The IRA had also received information that she had told the RIC that Liam Dwyer and Patrick Crowley were the men who had shot and mortally wounded William Lehane (alias William Lyons) as a land grabber on the night of 7-8 May 1920 . After Bridget Noble had suffered the public indignity of the IRA’s bobbing of her hair, she went with her complaint into the local police barracks with another girl, Nora Sullivan.  When the IRA questioned Sullivan later, she revealed that Noble had submitted a letter to the local RIC head constable containing the names of seven Volunteers and stating that they had cut off her hair. On 4 March 1921, in another raid on her house, the IRA found a letter from the RIC head constable asking her to meet him in Castletownbere that evening. The IRA arrested Noble on the way to that meeting. The date of her arrest is given in the report as 4 March 1921; the date of her trial by the IRA as 13 March; and the date of her execution as 15 March. One of the men whose names had been revealed by Bridget Noble—Michael Sullivan—was arrested in May 1921 and interned by British forces. Another man, John Dwyer, who had been involved in bobbing Noble’s hair, had been arrested on 4 March 1921 and was later sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. According to the IRA report, Bridget Noble admitted that she was guilty of all charges; she was allegedly ‘fortified’ by the rites of the church before her execution. See Report for Cork No. 5 Brigade HQ, sent to IRA GHQ, Dublin, dated 21 Oct. 1921, IRA Executions in 1921 (Military Archives, A/0649).

Eve Morrison's Paper on Bridget Noble

Shot by IRA as Spies