I am Denis Barry. My uncle, Commandant Denis Barry, Brigade Staff Cork 1st. Cork Brigade Irish Republican Army. He joined the Volunteers in 1914. He went to Kilkenny in 1915 and was arrested there on 2nd May 1916. He was detained there for 7 nights. Transferred to Richmond Barracks and shipped to Frongach, Wales. When released, he returned to Kilkenny. He was election agent for W.T. Cosgrave 1918. Recalled to Cork late 1918. Appointed O.C.(Officer in Command) Irish Republican Police. Read the full story in “The Unknown Commandant” written by me. Published by Collins Press. Launched by Cathal MacSwiney Brugha in the Cork City Hall in March 2010.

“In size and tone, Denis Barry’s funeral cortege in the midst of a bloody civil war was similar to those that marked the burials of Tomas MacCurtain and Terence McSwiney and, in more peaceful times, of Christy Ring and Jack Lynch. But who was ‘the Unknown Commandant’? A martyr and a hero to his countrymen, Denis Barry is overlooked today. This book seeks to rescue this hugely respected Cork man from relative anonymity. Denis Barry toiled in the shadows of McSwiney and MacCurtain in the tumultuous period of the Irish War of Independence. A brave soldier, patriot and sportsman, he died on hunger strike at the Curragh Military Prison in 1923 for the cause in which he believed….”

Commandant Denis Barry

Commandant Denis Barry

Donnacha Barry has sent in some papers and photos he uncovered as he did research on the book about his uncle Commandant Denis Barry:

The Life Of Commandant Denis Barry 1

Life of Commandant Denis Barry 2

His earlier years were taken up with sport and Trade Union work:

Denis Barry in Lees Football Team

Denis Barry Blackrock Hurling Team 1910

Denis Barry Trade Unionist

Internment, Hunger Strike and Death

Some Army deaths 1918-1923

List compiler unknown.

Copied from a paperback, Rebel Cork’s Fighting Story, from 1916 to the Truce with Britain. It is an Anvil Book, published by The Kerryman Ltd, Tralee.


Brigade Staff and First and Second Battalions
Brigade Staff:
Commandant Tomas MacCurtain, March 20, 1920;
Commandant Terence MacSwiney, October 25, 1920;
Commandant Denis Barry, November 20, 1923

First Battallion –

A. Company:
Sean O’Donoghue, September 28, 1922
Timothy Kenefick, November 23, 1922
Jeremiah Hourigan, August 12, 1922

B. Company:
Christopher Lucey, November 10, 1920

C. Company:
William Murphy, December 18, 1918
Daniel Crowley, William Deasy, Thomas Denehy, Jeremiah Mullane, Daniel Murphy, Michael O’Sullivan, all March 23, 1921
Denis Spriggs, July 8, 1921
Tadhg Barry, November 23, 1921

D. Company:
Sean Bulman, April 27, 1922
Christopher Olden, August 12, 1922

E. Company:
Liam Mulcahy, November 23, 1920
Denis C. Morrissey, November 23, 1920
James Moroney, August 12, 1922
William O’Sullivan, July 18, 1922
Liam Healy, October 29, 1924

F. Company:
Jeremiah Delaney, December 11, 1920
Cornelius Delaney, December 11, 1920

G. Company:
Michael Tobin, May 20, 1919
D. McCarthy, 1922
Matt Ryan, March 29, 1923

H. Company:
Patrick Murphy, September 9, 1922


Second Battallion

C. Company
Patrick O’Donoghue, November 23, 1920
Seamus Quirke, September 9, 1920
Tadhg O’Sullivan, April 19, 1921

D. Company:
Charles J. Daly, June 29, 1921
John O’Brien, September 14, 1922

E. Company:
Patrick Trahey, November 23, 1920
James Mehigan, November 23, 1920
Stephen Dorman, May 23, 1921

G. Company:
Eamon Tierney, December 16, 1920
Charles Daly, March 1, 1921
William Spillane, June 30, 1922
George Bourke, December 22, 1923

H. Company:
Joseph Murphy, October 25, 1920


The Anglo-Irish War 1916-1923

Heroic Dead of West Cork.

The Casualty List of those members of the Third West Cork Brigade Column, I.R.A., who sacrified their lives for Irish Freedom.

The list gives rank and name, address, and date and place of death, repectively. In 1918, it was decided to form Cork into three Brigades, on a territorial basis.

The areas covered by the three Cork Brigades were:

Cork No 1. Brigade area extended from Youghal on the eastern sea-coast of the county to Ballingeary and Ballyvourney on the borders of Kerry in the west. Its southern limit was at Ballinhassig and its northern boundary at Donoughmore. The city was included in the Brigade area of Cork No. 1. There were two Battallions in the city and others were centered at Cobh, Donoughnore, Macroom, Ballinhassig, Ballingeary, Ballincollig, Carrignavar, Ballyvourney, Passage West and Youghal.

Cork No 2. Brigade covered the tract of country extending from Bally- noe, just north of Midleton, to the Kerry border west of Mill- street and Newmarket. It was bounded on the south by the Mushera mountains and on the north by the Limerick County Boundary. In the south east, the Cork No. 2 Brigade took in Glenville and Ahidillane. Battalions were centered at Fermoy, Castletownroche, Mitchelstown, Charleville, Mallow, Kanturk, Newmarket, and Millstreet.

Cork No 3 Brigade area extended from Ballinhassig to the west and south- west. Batallions were centered at Bandon, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Skibbereen, Bantry and Castletownbere.

BARRETT, Richard        BEGLEY, Joe             CANTY, Geoffrey
COFFEY, James           COFFEY, Patrick         CONNOLLY, John
CONNOLLY, Timothy       COONEY, Patrick         CROWLEY, Daniel
CROWLEY, Michael        CROWLEY, Patrick        CROWLEY, Timothy
CUNNINGHAM, Laurence    DALY, Con               DEASE, George
DEASY, Patrick          DONOHUE, Jim            DONOVAN, Daniel
DONOVAN, Matthew        DONOVAN, Patrick        DUGGAN, Patrick
DWYER, J.               FITZGERALD, Tim         FOLEY, Batt
GALVIN, John            HAYES, Michael          HEGARTY, Denis
HOWEL, John             HURLEY, Charles         HURLEY, Frank
HURLEY, John            KELLY, Denis            KENNEFICK, Timothy
McCARTHY, Cornelius     McCarthy, Donal         McCARTHY, Michael
McCARTHY, Patrick       McCLEAN, Michael        McGRATH, John
MONOHAN, Peter          MURPHY, Con             MURPHY, John
O'CONNOR, John          O'DRISCOLL, Patrick     O'LEARY, Jeremiah
O'LEARY, Tadhg          O'MAHONY, Jeremiah      O'NEILL, Jeremiah
O'NEILL, Michael        O'REILLY, Daniel        O'SULLIVAN, Patrick
PEARSE, Patrick         ROSS, Gibbs             SULLIVAN, Daniel
SULLIVAN, James         TOBIN, Michael          WHELAN, John
WHOOLEY, Timothy

Below is a “recently discovered ” IRA internal document,” re Commandant Denis Barry and others, does the F.S.  Army refer to Free State Army?? it does not seem possible as the document is dated January 1921, can anyone shed light on this? What does F.S. stand for?