3 Officers shot at Fethard - 19 Jun 1921
According to the evidence at the inquest
- The three officers Lt W Glossop, Lt RF Bettridge and Lt A H C Toogood left Fethard Barracks at 2.30 pm for a walk
- They were in mufti, but were armed with small calibre .32 revolvers
- They were believed to have gone to see a Quinlan who was a horse dealer. Another report suggests it was a horse dealer called Hanley.
- Shots were heard at 3pm near Woodroofe Church. O'Malley is clear they were shot at dawn by the church. This is about 10 miles sw of Fethard.
- The officers were allowed to write two letters each before being shot. These letters have not been published
- Some hours later the three bodies were found in the road
- The firing squad was 6 men, and then the IRA QM, Michael Sheehan of Tipp 3 Brigade, finished each man off with a revolver shot to the head.
- The British account says that the face of each officer was somewhat bizarrely bandaged with a handkerchief in a different colour - one yellow, one white and one blue. This was taken to represent the Sinn Fein tricolour. O'Malley merely remarks that a claret coloured silk handkerchief was used to blindfold on of the men, and that they used the men's own handkerchiefs.
- The medical evidence was that the soldiers were shot where their bodies were found.
Ernie O'Malley in "On another man's wound" reveals that he ordered their execution and was present at it. The 3 officers had been captured by 2 IRA scouts. One of the IRA men saw the 3 officers, and raised his rifle and ordered them to halt. The men started to run away, so the IRA man fired a shot wounding one slightly. They stopped and surrendered. Each man had an automatic and identity card. Local people reported that the officers had been searching hedges and asking about IRA dugouts at a house on the hillside where they were caught. O'Malley informed that that they would be shot at dawn the next day, on the grounds that the British executed IRA man that they captured bearing arms. They were moved on and held overnight in a farm house, allowed to write a letter each to their families, and one to Major King at Fethard. They were then taken to the road near a church, and the officers were placed on the grass at the edge of the road.
British soldiers died in Ireland