THREE young men were shot dead under painful and so far obscure circumstances in North Co Dublin on Saturday afternoon.
Two, Sean Cole (19) from Buckingham Street and Alfred Colley (21) of Parnell Street, Dublin, were taken into a motor car at Ballybough Bridge and later shot dead nearby by six men in trench coats.
The third to die was Bernard Daly (26), a native of Old Hill, Drogheda.
He had been employed since April in the licensed establishment of of Mr Paul Hogan of Suffolk Street and was last seen alive by his friends on Saturday afternoon at his place of work.
It is believed that around 3pm, three armed men came into the pub, looking for Daly. They asked an assistant 'was Daly in?' to which he replied 'what do you want him for?'
One of the men drew a revolver and pointed the gun at his head and said ' we have a warrant for his arrest, and if you continue to be impudent we'll arrest you too'. They took Daly into the cellar and searched him before going upstairs to his room where he dressed.
The four then came downstairs where Daly handed the keys of the place to one of the assistants and the party left, stepping into a Ford car across the street.
A press representative visited a scene close to St Doulagh's, between Malahide and Swords some time later. He wrote:
'In a lonely hollow at St Doulagh's a young man was removed from a strange motor and taken into a deep ditch full of nettles and briars.
It appears his clothes were opened off his chest and into which three bullets were fired, while two were dispatched to his head. About 20 minutes later a passer-by made the gruesome discovery.
'The unfortunate victim was on his back and there was no documents to say who he was. The National troops at Swords were contacted and they came and removed the body to the morgue.
'Deceased was a native of Drogheda and was engaged to be married to a young lady from that town, who had arranged to meet him on Sunday. Mr Daly served his apprenticeship in Morrissey's, Cork Street, and also worked in Kidd's.'
He was an active member of the irregulars and is stated to have fought at the Four Courts. He was a leading member of the Grocers' and Vintners' Assistants' Association.
The following Tuesday an inquest took place into the death of the grocer's assistant.
Mr J Comyn appeared for the next-ofkin and Mr Howe appeared for Miss Hogan, by whom deceased was employed.
James Daly from Old Hill identified the remains of his brother. He said he was the son of an evicted tenant. He served his time in Dublin and then London but returned in 1916.
He became a member of the Volunteer movement and up to the time of his death was a member of the IRA. He was arrested by the British government and interned until December 1921 when he was released. He was an acting captain in the IRA at the time.
He said that each of his comrades said they would lay down their lives for him. He said the deceased was the sole support of his mother and he sent all his wages to her.
Captain Ryan of the National Army said it appeared that Daly had been 'done in' quickly on the spot.
In reply to Mr Comyn, shop assistant Peter Higgins said Daly was a civil, decent man. The first he knew of Daly's death when he read in the paper about a body being found with a ring with the initials 'B.D.'
The coroner said it was terrible that this man was not given a chance for his life. The circumstances were murder, pure and unadulterated.
He said the verdict must be murder by some person or persons unknown.
The funeral took place from St Mary's Church to St Mary's cemetery and the coffin was draped in a tri-colour. Very Rev Fr Nulty PP VF officiated at the graveside.