Drumboe Martyrs 90th Anniversary

By Seán O’Maoilearca

Drumboe Martyrs 90th Anniversary

On the 14th March 2013 and on the 90th anniversary of their deaths I laid flowers in honour of four brave Anti-Treaty Irish Republican Army Volunteers who lost their lives in the Irish Civil War. Officer Commanding Second Northern Division Charles Daly (26), Lieutenant Timothy Ó Sullivan (23), Lieutenant Daniel Enright (23), all 3 originally from Co. Kerry & Commandant Seán Larkin (26) from Co. Derry.

In the dead of night on 2 November 1922 exhausted and on the run while attempting to mobilise anti-treaty volunteers from the northern counties of Derry & Tyrone all four men were captured when their safe house at the foothills of Mount Errigal Co.Donegal was surrounded by overwhelming Free State Forces.

In January 1923 following a Free State Courts Martial all four were sentenced to death which was carried out on the cold early morning of 14th March 1923 just six weeks prior to the ending of Civil War hostilities when the men were taken from their cells at the official Free State Army Headquarters at Drumboe Castle, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal and marched 300 yards into the nearby Drumboe Woods where they were summarily put to death by firing squad and their remains dumped into pre prepared graves.

Their only crime being true Irish patriots and today their names are proudly remembered among Irish republicans and enshrined in the old republican folklore song “Take it Down from the Mast”

“Take it Down from the Mast”

You have murdered our brave Liam and Rory
You butchered young Richard and Joe
Your hands with their blood are still gory
Fulfilling the work of the foe

Take it down from the mast Irish traitors
It’s the flag we Republicans claim
It can never belong to Free-Staters
For you’ve brought on it nothing but shame

Then leave it to those who are willing
To uphold it in war and in peace
To the men who intend to do killing
Until England’s tyranny cease

Take it down from the mast Irish traitors
It’s the flag we Republicans claim
It can never belong to Free-Staters
For you’ve brought on it nothing but shame

But we stand with Enright and Larkin
By Daly and Sullivan bold

And we’ll break down the English connections
And we’ll win back the nation you sold

Take it down from the mast Irish traitors
It’s the flag we Republicans claim
It can never belong to Free-Staters
For you’ve brought on it nothing but shame

You sold out the six counties for your freedom
Though we gave you McCracken and Tone
And brave Ulstermen have fought for you in Dublin
Now you watch as we fight on alone

Take it down from the mast Irish traitors
It’s the flag we Republicans claim
It can never belong to Free-Staters
For you’ve brought on it nothing but shame

And up in Ulster we’re fighting on for freedom
For our people they yearn to be free
You executed those men who fought for us
With a handgun from over the sea

Take it down from the mast Irish traitors
It’s the flag we Republicans claim
It can never belong to Free-Staters
For you’ve brought on it nothing but shame

 
The first picture below shows the location were the four men met their deaths and the spot is marked by a cross with 3 flag poles surrounded by a low wall, this picture also shows the close proximity to the partial remains of the old Drumboe Castle, Headquarters of the Donegal Free State Army which is the white faced building to the right of the picture with six windows.

By | 2017-09-13T15:09:23+00:00 March 16th, 2013|In Memory of The Volunteers, Kerry Volunteer Memorials|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Seán Ó Maoilearca March 17, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Good article and very well re-searched and something which you obviously did your homework on. Had I known of its existence it would’ve saved me the trouble in trying to give a brief description surrounding their deaths. The fate of these four men and other men of the same mindset was a premeditative British foregone conclusion right from the onset of the pre-Treaty talks.
    In this very dark chapter in our modern history the dirty hand of British tyranny played its devious cards once more on the gullible Irish by manipulating their political thinking so that they inevitably turned the guns on themselves. The courts Martial that these men faced was a red-taped bureaucracy process designed to criminalise Republicans and give the Free State government the outward impression of legality. Like I wrote previously, these men were guilty of nothing more than Irish patriotism and were unlawfully killed by muppets having their strings pulled Britain.

  2. Kieran Glennon March 16, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Some people try to characterise the Civil War as having been fought in defence of a fledgling democracy against militarist would-be dictators; however, they conveniently ignore the fact that the Provisional Government was perfectly willing to dispense with democracy and due process if it suited them. Although the Drumboe Martyrs were originally court-martialled for possession of arms and ammunition, they were executed later as a reprisal for the killing of a Free State army officer which happened after they were captured and for which they could not possibly have been responsible.

    My grandfather was a member of the court martial that tried them – I wrote this article about it last year: http://www.theirishstory.com/2012/03/14/today-in-irish-history-the-execution-of-the-drumboe-martyrs-14th-march-1923/#.T8IXQrDL6WE

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