Peadar Clancy a little known victim of Bloody Sunday, November 21st 1920
Peadar Clancy, Born November 9th 1888, was a native of Carrowreagh East, Cranny,
Kilrush, Co. Clare. He moved to Dublin and involved himself in Nationalist cause by joining the volunteers in 1913.
There he became friendly with Dick McKee and Captain Frank Fahy.
1916 he was in charge at the barricade at Church St. Bridge in the four courts area. Late on Monday night he saw a column
of infantry accompanied by army lorries coming along the quays from the Phoenix Park direction. He allowed thee column
to advance between two arc lamps, into full view, before giving the order to fire. The horses under the foremost lorries
were shot. The lorries halted and the British fled in terror.
Thursday night the British were sniping from a house on Bridge St. Clancy arranged to concentrate fire on the house
while he walked coolly across the bridge, broke the windows and set the house on fire. On another occasion Clancy halted
a moto car and arrested Lord Dunsany and Colonel. Lindsey Dunsany commented; "Although in different uniforms, we
are all Irishmen and you are all gentlemen." For his part in the 1916 Rising Clancy was sentenced to death.
This was later commuted to 10 years penal servitude.
his Amnesty of 1917 Peadar helped reorganise the Volunteers. He was chosen to contest the East-Clare by election but
GHQ ratified de Valera instead and Clancy returned to Clare to support the Sinn Fein candidate. On return to Dublin
he was made Vice Brigadier of the Dublin Brigade IRA. As an IRA activist he rescued Robert Barton from a military lorry at
Berkley Rd (1920). After an ammunitions raid on South Quay leaving a police seargant killed, another seargant and an
IRA man wounded and others captured, Clancy, and several others were imprisoned in Mountjoy. Clancy, amongst others,
organised a hunger strike; demanding release or trial. After 10 days fasting they were released. On June 1st 1920
a party under Clancy's command staged a successful raid on Kings Inns, Dublin.
The basis of resistance to English power in Dublin was the Dublin Brigade developed under McKee and Clancy,
both also attached to the GHQ. Clancy was director of munitions. In late 1920 Michael Collins compiled a list
of 35 British Intelligence officers. 15 were chosen by Collins and Bruagh and November 21st was set as execution date.
On Saturday 20th McKee, Clancy and other high ranking officers were upstairs in Vaughan's Hotel. Hart, the porter expressed
suspicion at what may happen so Collins ended the meeting. Collins, McKee and Clancy had just left the building when
it was surrounded by Black and Tans. They went to their lodgings in Fitzpatrick's, Gloucester St. At about 1.00am a number of lorries and armoured cars pulled up outside. Shots were fired
and while the Auxiliaries were barging in the door, McKee, upstairs burned all papers including the list of those officers
to be executed that morning. McKee, Clancy and Sean Fitzpatrick were arrested and taken to Dublin Castle Guardroom,
arriving at about 3.00am.
Ben Doyle, a member of the Dublin
Brigade arrested earlier accounted for the happenings on Saturday November 21st. The other prisoners were ordered to
stand in line but McKee, Cline and Fitzpatrick were left sitting on old beds near the fireplace in the guardroom. Captain
Hardy called "stop, hold on a minute". He scanned the faces, asking names. Peadar, when asked replied
"Clancy". He was then ordered to join McKee and Cline, while Fitzpatrick took his place. The incidents
hereafter are not known for sure. A false report was constructed saying that the prisoners were shot while trying to
"The Freemans Journal", November 22nd 1920.
"At about 11.o'clock to-day Richard McKee, T.C. Cline and Peter Clancy were
killed in an attempt to escape. The room contained army material, rifles, ammunition etc. The prisoners were allowed
considerable freedom of movement". It continues to elaborately report on how the prisoners threw bombs, unknown
Michael Collins was reported to
"sway in anguish" on hearing the death and said "Good God, we're finished now. It's all up".
He demanded that the bodies, which had several bullet wounds and numerous bruises caused by batons, be dressed in Volunteer
uniform and he part in this dressing. The funeral took place in Glasnevin Cemetary where they were interned in the Republican
plot. Collins riskily attended the funeral, helped to carry the coffin and penned on a message;
"In memory of two good friends Dick and Peadar and two of Irelands best soldiers".
Peadar Clancy, although not famous, is still
remembered today. The local school in Cranny is Named "Peadar Clancy Memorial N.S." in his honour and displays
his picture. The people of New York in 1967 fund raised and erected a bronze statue of Peadar in nearby Kildysart.