Eric Steadman


1921 Jul 10. Just before the truce, a labourer called Michael Buckley found the body of a man at Puttaghaun, Tullamore. The body had many bullet wounds, and a notice "Convicted Spy, Eric Steadman, X Soldier Birmingham. TRIED, Convicted and Executed on 9 July 1921. Sooner or later we get THEM. Beware of the IRA." The Birmingham Police were unable to trace any record of an Eric Steadman in Birmingham

"Truce" goes on to record that his IRA captors claimed that Steadman had travelled throughout the Midlands in the role of a tramp. One of his executioners stated that Steadman's hands were not those of a tramp "his fingers were long and they had silky indications of a man who didn't do much manual work...a low, stout block of a man who seemingly did not do any manual work....he was not much to look at"

The inquest described him as being "about 40 years of age, about 5ft 9" tall...slightly built and poorly clad

One of his IRA captors, Sean Magennis, claimed that Steadman openly admitted being a British Agent. Steadman's captors decided that he should be executed, and after being held prisoner for a number of days at Ballydaly, Tullamore, Offaly, he was executed.

There is no Irish death record for anyone of this name. In fact only 2 Erics died in Ireland in 1921. Nothing on British BMD either for birth or death. He was undoubted a spy, but what his name actually was, I have no idea.

There was a Lt Eric Steadman in the RAF born 6 May 1897, but he is recorded a dead in 23 Dec 1985 in England, so it cannot have been him

It was unusual for the IRA to put the man's name on the card that they left on his body. I can only assume that it was Steadman's way of letting someone know that he had been shot. The only logical explanation I can give is tat this was his code name, and by publisising his death, his handlers would let his family know


Scotland Yard Spies in Ireland

Shot by IRA as British spies