The Ballykissane Drowning Tragedy: Good Friday 1916
As part of their preparations for the 1916 Easter Rising, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) decided on a plan to seize a wireless transmitter from the Atlantic College in Cahersiveen to contact the Aud, the German vessel which carried arms for the Irish Volunteers, which was due to arrive at Fenit on Easter Sunday, 23 April.
A 'radio team' of Irish Volunteers who had been sworn into the IRB was assembled in readiness for the mission:
Denis Daly, 30, of Main Street, Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry,
Con Keating, 22, from Renard, Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry had trained as a Marconi radio operator at the Atlantic College
Dónal Sheehan, 30, from Ballintubrid, Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick,
Charlie Monahan, 37, from Riley Place, Belfast, and
Colm Ó Lochlainn, 24, from Drumcondra, Dublin.
Daly's five-man team boarded the mail train at Kingsbridge (now Heuston) Station on Good Friday morning. In the early afternoon two cars, driven by IRB men — Tommy McInerney and Sam Windrim — left Limerick to meet the 8pm train at Killarney and convey the five Volunteers to Cahersiveen. McInerney, 24, drove a grey Briscoe, a 20
Daly and Ó Lochlainn got into the lead car driven by Windrim, while Keating, Sheehan and Monahan travelled with McInerney. The cars became separated between Killarney and Killorglin. Daly's car passed through Killorglin at about 9:15pm. In Cahersiveen, later that night, Daly and Ó Lochlainn encountered a police checkpoint and aborted the mission.
Keating's group travelled to Killorglin via Beaufort, and at about 9.30pm McInerney's grey Briscoe crossed the junction at Lower Bridge Street/New Line and pulled in opposite Taylor's Hotel. Monahan, the front seat passenger, asked 17-year old Elizabeth Violet "Daisy" Taylor for directions.
There were three roads at the junction near Saint James' Catholic Church: a minor road to the right closest to the river; the centre road leading to Ballykissane; and the road to Cahersiveen on the left. In the darkness the Volunteers mistakenly chose the Ballykissane road. At around 9.45pm the car went on to Ballykissane Pier, a mile from Killorglin, and plunged into 25 feet of fast flowing water.
Timothy 'Thady' O'Sullivan lived beside the pier and heard the Briscoe's engine followed by an ominous silence. Carrying a candle aloft, he went to the water's edge and on hearing shouts for help directed a man ashore. This was Tommy McInerney, thedriver of the ill-fated car, whom O'Sullivan brought into his house. At low tide on Easter Saturday morning, with the aid of a tractor, the police recovered the car from the base of the pier, but found no bodies inside. The remains of Sheehan and Keating were recovered during the afternoon; those of Monahan were not found until October. The bodies of Keating and Sheehan were brought to Killorglin Courthouse where an inquest was held on Easter Monday. Keating's remains were subsequently returned to his family. He was buried in Killovarngue Cemetery, Cahersiveen. Sheehan's remains were interred in Dromavalla cemetery, Killorglin. In October Monahan's remains were buried in the same plot.
After Easter Week, McInerney, Daly and Windrim were charged with being part of an insurrection and transferred to Frongoch internment camp in Wales, where they remained until a general amnesty was introduced in December 1916.
Location. 52° 6.484′ N, 9° 47.121′ W. Marker is in Killorglin, Munster, in County Kerry. Marker is on New Line Road/Ring of Kerry (National Route N70) just south of Mill Road (National Route N70), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 13 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Ballykissane Tragedy: Good Friday 1916 (here, next to this marker); Townsend Blennerhassett
Also see . . . First fatalities of the Easter Rising remembered in Ballykissane (The Irish Times, 2019). (Submitted on November 19, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Disasters • Patriots & Patriotism • Wars, Non-US •
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Credits. This page was last revised on November 19, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 19, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 41 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 19, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.