Irish Volunteer Shot - July 1920

 Irish Volunteer Shot - July 1920

The murder of James (or Seamus) Cogan, a member of the Irish Volunteers, shot dead in Oldscastle, county Meath on 21 July 1920 was a deliberate attempt to try and regain control at a local level.

The British military, particularly the newly arrived recruits, were determined to prevent the holding of Republican courts and stamp out the authority of the Republican police. When members of the Oldcastle Republican Police were transferring a noted ‘cattle stealer’ to court they were stopped by the police who called on them to halt. Ignoring the call, Cogan was shot as his comrades proceeded on their business. The republican police returned fire and engaged the military before bringing Cogan’s body to safety where they proceeded to give him a military burial. Seven days later Cogan’s funeral took place in the village of Ballinlough. In a huge display of defiance, more than a thousand volunteers marched behind the funeral procession, while local members of the G.A.A, Sinn Fein, and the Gaelic League were also present. The killing of Cogan, one of the most respected leaders of the Meath IRA, came at a time when they were actively trying to restore law and order to the county after months of agrarian unrest, some of which this blog has highlighted in the past. Today, a memorial stands to Cogan, unveiled in 1961, stands in Oldcastle village stating that he had been ‘faithful until death’.

Source: Irish Bulletin, 24 July 1920, page 10.

Irish Volunteer Shot Irish Bulletin -24.July.1920

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