One hundred years ago, the spring of 1921 saw an escalation of the war in Ireland as the British regime carried out widespread ‘reprisal’ attacks on civilians and used military courts to sentence prisoners to death.
Kevin Barry on 1 November was the first Republican prisoner executed in jail since the 1916 Rising. He had been tried by a British Army court martial. While this was different to the military courts established later and used in 1921, they amounted to same thing: the British Army putting on trial those they alleged to have opposed British rule, and setting aside the normal rule of law to do so.
The first to be executed after trial by the new military court was Cornelius Murphy of Ballydaley, Co. Kerry. He was arrested at his home in January and charged with possession of a revolver and ammunition. The court was presided over by
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