independent

Friday 16 November 2018

The last man to be executed at Cork Gaol honoured

Members of the Captain Kennefick Memorial Committee pictured with Healy family members at the Healy homeplace in Donoughmore.
Members of the Captain Kennefick Memorial Committee pictured with Healy family members at the Healy homeplace in Donoughmore.

A DONOUGHMORE man who was the last person executed by firing squad at Cork County Gaol has had a plaque unveiled in his honour.

William Healy, who was born in Lackabawn, Donoughmore in 1900 was executed by Free State Forces for his role in the Republican side of the Civil War on March 13, 1923 at Cork County Gaol.

A plaque in his memory was unveiled by the Captain Timothy Kennefick Commemoration Committee at his birth place last Sunday.

Healy wrote a very emotional letter to his father the day before his death in which he forgave the firing party and encouraged others to do the same.

'If I had told on one of the boys, I would not be executed but, as you know, I would not have it said that there was a spy in our family, because as you know I was out for a Republic and I sincerely hope it will be got some day,' he wrote.

Initially buried in Cork Gaol his body was handed over to his relatives in 1924.

Of farming stock, and seventh in a family of 12, Healy attended Firmount National School and moved to Cork aged 18 and worked as a farm labourer for a cattle exporter in Blackpool.

Healy enlisted in the Irish Volunteers, E Company, First battalion, Cork Number 1 Brigade in 1918. He took part in many of the Volunteer activities and was involved in the attacks on Blarney Police Barracks and the attack on all City Police Barracks in Cork City in 1921.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined the Republican side. Captured by Free State forces, he was court-martialled on a charge of possession of arms and was executed by firing squad on 13 March 1923.

He had been convicted of attempting to burn the house of Mrs Powell, a sister of the Late General Michael Collins, was charged with conspiracy to murder Commandant P D Scott of the 10th Infantry Battalion Cork, of conspiring to damage and destroy property by fire and with aiding and abetting an attack on National forces. The execution took place at 8am.

Corkman

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