Chilling tape reveals TD laughed about executing 'spies'
Published 19/03/2013 | 05:00
CHILLLING tapes of a late Fianna Fail TD chuckling about torturing, executing and secretly burying suspected spies during the War of Independence are set to be aired for the first time.
Martin Corry served in the Dail for 40 years before his death in 1979.
But tapes unearthed for a new TV3 series reveal how he relished his role as chief IRA executioner in a medieval torture vault named 'Sing Sing' outside the village of Knockraha near Glanmire in Co Cork.
In the documentary 'In the Name of the Republic', the veteran Dail deputy cheerfully recalls capturing, killing and burying countless bodies in a nearby bog known as The Rea.
The previously unheard recordings were obtained by Professor Eunan O'Halpin, of Trinity College in Dublin.
During the recordings, made by local historian Jim Fitzgerald, Mr Corry is heard chuckling as he talks about shootings and burials during the War of Independence.
Mr Corry – who is described n the documentary as the chief executioner for the Cork IRA brigade from 1920 to 1922 – described bringing alleged spies to the damp graveyard vault where they were imprisoned, sometimes for days, before being killed.
He told how grave diggers (known as 'reaks') objected to the amount of bodies being buried in the nearby bog but the protests were laughed off by him and another IRA gunman Daithi O'Se when two more victims were shot in front of the diggers.
"Daithi (O'Se) delivered the two prisoners into Sing Sing himself and brought me up that night to shoot them," he recalled.
"All the reaks were outside and they were laying down the law to us. (They were saying) there will be ghosts found around this place now. There'll be no more men shot here.
"'Will I make bacon of them?'" says Daithi'. "And all of a sudden the skit (gun) came out of the pocket and bang, bang. He shot two of them.
"Just like that. 'C'mon we're home Corry'," the former Cork TD recalled.
Prof O'Halpin also discovered that there could be anywhere from 30 up to 90 people buried in the Rea bog.
The TV3 series also reveals that the British forces never discovered the whereabouts of the notorious 'Sing Sing'.
Mr Fitzgerald told TV3 that Mr Corry was happy to tell stories about his time in charge of the "horror chamber".
"He was delighted that before he died that someone was interested enough and had no objection to being recorded," said Mr Fitzgerald, who is a member of the Knockraha Historical Society.
On the tapes Mr Corry is heard saying that his IRA comrade Ned Moloney was the 'governor of Sing Sing' as he had the keys to the vault's door and that the pair kept a detailed account of their victims.
Mr Corry can also be heard describing how he meet two IRA men taking two Black and Tans to Sing Sing. Prof O'Halpin, who researches the deaths of Ireland's forgotten war victims, is calling for justice for the disappeared victims of the War of Independence.
The list of 56 victims includes 31 civilians, one 15-year-old boy and an elderly woman.
He said: "The list includes only people we know with certainty were disappeared by the IRA and were never found. The true figure is significantly higher."
Next Monday, the second instalment of 'In The Name Of The Republic' will be shown at 9pm on TV3.