Saturday 16 December 2017

Family seeks end to 93-year mystery over burial place after IRA massacre

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE family of three Protestant men executed in a notorious republican massacre in 1922 have pleaded for information so that radar technology can be used to locate their remains.

A Cork historian believes that the approximate burial site in Newcestown in west Cork has been located - but further information is now required.

This will allow ground-mapping radar - such as that used in UK murder hunts and the search for the burial place of King Richard III - to be utilised.

The family of the men, who fled to the UK after the 1922 killings, appealed for information to help them end the 93-year-old mystery.

Martin Midgely-Reeve is hoping that warming Anglo-Irish relations may finally help resolve an incident that forced his entire family out of Ireland.

Mr Midgely-Reeve, who lives in Essex, is a direct descendent of decorated World War I veteran Captain Herbert Woods, and Thomas and Samuel Hornibrook.

All three were captured and shot by the IRA in west Cork in a spate of revenge and violence which claimed the lives of 17 local Protestants.

The trio had surrendered but were still shot by the IRA.

They ranged in age from 16 to 82 years - with all shot in retaliation for the killing of IRA commander Michael O'Neill outside Dunmanway in April 1922.

Mr Midgely-Reeve hopes some historic information will allow the graves to be traced so they can be given Christian burials.

"Of course, we are now hoping that someone somewhere might have information about where they are buried," he said.

"If you don't have a grave, it is hard to be properly remembered and commemorated," he added.

Historian Barry Keane, who has befriended the family, said there is no reason why the 30 'disappeared' from the War of Independence should not be accorded the same respect as those who vanished during the Northern Ireland conflict.

Irish Independent

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