Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin

Earlsfort Terrace

28 Earlsfort Terrace has been demolished, these are similar original houses

Sgt. John J. Fitzgerald, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, whose father was from County Tipperary , was shot and killed at 28 Earlsfort Terrace. He had survived a previous assassination attempt when the bullet only grazed his head. This time he was shot twice in the head. Nobody in the IRA has claimed responsability, and there is some dobt as to whom the assassins were tryiing to kill at this address. Depending on which account one reads, the IRA squad asked for Lt. Col Fitzpatrick,

The Irish Times report describes the murder of Captain Fitzgerald. It reports that at about 9am on Sunday morning 21 November, a man knocked on the door of 28 Earlsfort Terrace, which was opened by a maid . He asked her if Mr Fitzgerald lived there ( reports in other papers that day have slight variants on this. One says that the man asked for "Colonel Fitzgerald", another says he asked for "Captain Fitzgerald", another for "Fitzpatrick". She answered in the negative, but the man said that he knew a Capt Fitzgerald lived there. He asked her to show him Fitzgerald's room and pointed his revolver at her. There were seven men at the door (another report in the Irish Times the next day says 20 men) , and two of these entered the hall. The first man went to Mr Fitzgerald's room, and a moment later the servant heard Captain Fitzgerald utter a loud shout. She then heard someone say "Come on". Four shots rang out, and the man left the room at once and ran away, the others followed him.

The maid later testified : ‘ I next heard Capt. Fitzgerald scream and three shots in quick succession. The party then left the house and walked away quietly. The inquest was told that Fitzgerald was shot through the forehead, in the right wrist where he tried to shield himself, in the chest, and in the neck.

IRA men present (from the maids and the landlady's evidence in the Inquest it would appear that there were 6 men in the raiding party. One outside the front door, one in the kitchen, one the leader remained just inside the front door and 3 went into Fitzgerald's room.

The landlady says they walked away after the shooting down Lower Hatch Street towards Stephens Cross. She could not find anyone to help as the streets were deserted, so she got two medical students to enter Fitzgerald's bedroom, where they found him to be dead.

The raid was by A coy 3rd Battalion, and the WS by O'Connor gives no details of the raid. A different WS by Farrell also ascribes raid to A Coy, 3rd Battalion, but gives different names. On balance I would go with Farrell's list. O'Connors list of men in 3rd Battion raids does not tie up anywhere else.

Quite oddly, in comparrison to most of the murders, nobody has retrospectively claimed responsibility for John Fitzgerald's death. From other reports, Flannigan may have been the executioner. The original enquiry is also at a court of inquiry in lieu of inquest on Capt. J. J. Fitzgerald, evidence of the maid, London NA WO 35/159B

The police arrived shortly afterwards and found Captain Fitzgerald dead in his bed in a pool of blood, his forehead shattered with bullets, one in the heart and one to his right wrist as if he had held it up to protect himself. All shots had been fired at point blank range. The officer was unarmed.. Another report says he received 4 bullets.

So apart from being in the RIC there is very little to say whether the Squad got the right man or not.

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