Orange Districts - October 1920


The shooting of Michael Kelly in county Monaghan in October 1920 occurred under strange circumstances and the military attempts to prevent an inquest taking place added to the suspicion.


When a car carrying Kelly and Rev L Murray of Tydavnet from a funeral in Enniskillen crashed, John Kelly of Glaslough Street, Monaghan town, a brother of the deceased answered the call to bring a replacement car and duly made his way to the scene. Returning to Monaghan with the injured pair his car was ambushed at a place called Laragh and about twenty bullets fired at him. Michael Kelly was hit with a bullet and died a few hours later. According to the Irish Independent newspaper it had been reported that loyalists were warned by the Ulster Volunteers not to travel by motor car after nightfall and that instances of cars being fired upon in ‘Orange districts’ were vouched for. When the county coroner, P Whelan opened the inquest, police head constable, accompanied by three or four constables arrived and declared the inquest was illegal and warned them to disperse. Whelan refused to do so saying that he had been notified by the county council to hold an inquest. However, after summoning a jury, and in front of police, no verdict was returned. Michael Kelly was a member of the second battalion Monaghan IRA and was buried in Lathlurcan cemetery with almost 1,000 volunteers present.


Source: Anglo-Celt 1846-current, Saturday, October 23, 1920; Page: 4


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