Fingal Independent

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Skerries hero Terry Sherlock remembered some 99 years later


Some 99 years since his death, a local hero was remembered in Skerries at the weekend.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O'Brien, Cllr Cathal Boland, Cllr Darragh Butler and Cllr Brian Dennehy were all guests of the Fingal Old IRA Commemoration Society as they remembered Terry Sherlock who was shot dead in 1920 during the Irish War of Independence.

The Fingal Old IRA Commemorative Society hosted this event, commemorating 99 years since the death of local Volunteer, Terry Sherlock, at the hands of the Black and Tans.

The Sherlock Park is named in memory of John better known as Terry.

He was one of eight children of a well-connected Skerries family, his mother Jane was a member of the local Duff family, his father Michael was a farm labourer, originally from Meath.

Terry was an active member of the local company of the IRA.

On the night of October 27, 1920, the 'Tans' raided the family home and removed Terry.

They then bayonetted the 22-year-old to death.

Terry was later found by his sister in the fields here, where this housing estate now stands.

It is believed that the killing was in reprisal for an event earlier in the month.

Jack Straw, who had given assistance to the Tans in September when they had 'Sacked Balbriggan' was found in Skerries and confronted by Terry who had run him out of the town.

Straw was later found dead on the outskirts of Ballyboughal.

Terry is buried in the local graveyard. Descendants of his family can be found in the UK and America.

One of those descendants is on record as saying: 'My mum would always tell us a story that her grandmother had told her, about her brother being dragged off in the night by the black and tans and later being found in a field bayonneted to death, killed and martyred by the English.

'Us being English found this in turns fascinating and frightening.

'She said most of her grandmothers brothers and sisters had fled to America after this event, but she had stayed in Ireland, married a man from Bray called Heeney, and ended up in Manchester.

'This story has always been accepted as family folklore, but having researched the name of my great grandmother's 'brother' it turns out this story is true.

'Terry Sherlock did exist and he was killed in the way described.'

The Old IRA Commemoration Society make sure the name of Terry Sherlock is never forgotten and this annual wreath laying ceremony commemorates the sacrifice he made for his country in the days of a nation's birth.