Sean O'Brien shot 1 Mar 1921


1921 Mar 1 Sean O'Brien was shot in his home. The perpetrators were almost certainly 2 Black and Tans, not Auxiliaries. The IRA names them as Spellman and Spain

WS 0754 On that night the Tans came into the town mad looking for blood. They went to the home of Seán O'Brien, who was a wellknown Gaelic Leaguer and Irish Irelander - he had never served with the Volunteers. The Tans knocked at his door and Seán, without opening the door, enquired what they wanted, and the Tans' reply was to fire several volleys through the door and also threw some grenades through the fan-light. Poor Seán died almost immediately. Seán was Chairman of the U.D.C., and also President of the Gaelic League Branch. He had been raided several times before, and, following the shooting of Constable Quinn in the morning, had been advised by Mick Geary and some others to clear out of town until the excitement subsided. However, Seán's wife was an extremely nervous type and he did not like to leave her on her own. It was an extremely brutal murder for his body was ripped asunder. The principal instigators of this murder were Constables Spain and Spellman. ....On April 16th, 1921, information was sent. to the Company O.C. (Mick Geary) from a Volunteer employee on the railway who was utilised on intelligence duties, stating that the two Tans who had1 murdered Seán O'Brien had travelled to Buttevant. Mick Geary contacted immediately some reliable members of the Company and decided to capture or shoot those Tans on their return by the eve4ung train at 6.20 p.m. That evening Mick and his men lay in wait near the Station. The Tans arrived off the train, but, just as they did, two Crossley tenders of troops arrived at the station for some supplies. Some of the troops in the tenders apparently spotted -24- a few of our men in the fields close by and must have thought they were being ambushed. They opened fire immediately, with the result that Mick Geary and his men had to make a hurried withdrawal across the fields.

1921Mar 8 The court of enquiry was held - full report. It goes into many pages but does not neme the two RIC Black and Tans suspected. It has statements from them as A and B. Basically the men were the only two not in barracks at the time O'Brien was shot. The British inquiry describes one as Engaish, the other as Irish

Incidents involving ADRIC