1922 – Irish Civil War.

After a skirmish on the border of County Kildare and County Meath, the Meath Anti-Treaty IRA column, consisting of 22 men under Paddy Mullally is captured. The Republicans attack a Free State supply column near Leixlip. One Republican and one Free State soldier are killed in the action and three Republicans are wounded. Five of the Anti-Treaty men, who had previously deserted from the National Army, are executed in Dublin on 8 January 1923 for ‘treachery’.

Three Meath men were executed in 1923, Two, Laurence Sheeky from Braytown and Terence Brady from Wilkinstown were executed in Portobello on 8th January 1923 and Thomas Murray from Kilcarn but originaly from Whitecross Co, Armagh was executed on 13th January 1923 in Dundalk Jail. Laurence Sheeky and Terence Brady were executed with comrades Leo Dowling from Askinran Co, Kildare, Sylvester Heavey from Dillonstown Co, Louth and Anthony O`Reilly from Celbridge Co, Kildare. All five who deserted from the National army were arrested in Leixlip Co, Kildare on 1st December 1922 when an attack was carried out on an army supply lorry which had broken down in the townland of Collinstown on the Maynooth road. In follow up searches carried out by the Free State army a number of confrontations occurred with insurgents resulting in over twenty insurgents being arrested. During the battles three insurgents were wounded and a Free State soldier killed. Twenty one rifles, a Thompson sub-machine gun, six revolvers, a Lewis sub-machine gun, grenades and a substantial amount of ammunition were recovered. The five, Sheeky, Brady, Dowling, Heavey and O`Reilly were brought to Kilmainham Jail and Court Marshalled on 11th December 1922. The charges were as follows:

1) ” TREACHERY ON THE 1ST DECEMBER 1922 IN THAT THEY AT LEIXLIP, CO, KILDARE ASSISTED CERTAIN ARMED PERSONS IN USING FORCE AGAINST THE NATIONAL ARMY” 2) ” TREACHERY COMMUNICATING AND CONSERTING WITH ARMED PERSONS MENTIONED IN THE FIRST CHARGE, IN THE PLACE AND AT THE TIME MENTIONED”
All five were found guilty of both charges and sentanced to death. The men were executed on 8th January 1923 at Keogh barracks and were buried there however just a year later the bodies were handed over to the families for burial in their own home towns. Thomas Murray was arrested with two of his comrades, Louth men Thomas McKeown from Piedmount and John McNulty from Corremanon at Hackballs cross Co, Louth in possession of a revolver and a quantity of ammunition. The three were charged with the possession of the revolver and ammunition on 9th January 1923. All three were found guilty and sentenced to death. They were executed on 13th January 1923 at Dundalk Jail. In November 1924 the bodies of Laurence Sheeky, Thomas Murray and Terence Brady were taken from Portobello and Dundalk jails and brought to the mortuary chapel in Navan where they remained over night. Mass was said in St Mary’s church before the tricolour draped coffins of Volunteers Laurence Sheeky and Terence Brady were laid to rest with full military honours in the republican plot in the new cemetery on the Boyne road Navan. Their comrade Thomas Murray was buried with full military honours later that day in the republican plot in Dundalk.

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