#OTD in 1922 – A leading figure in the Anti-Treaty IRA who had refused to surrender, Cathal Brugha, appeared from the doorway of the Hammam Hotel, revolver in each hand, and was hit by a sniper’s bullet from the Findlater’s building. He would die two days later.

During the Battle of Dublin, Republican leader Cathal Brugha and a rearguard of 15 men, who stayed behind in the Hammam hotel after Oscar Trayner and most other IRA men had left. At 5.00pm, when the fires made the hotel untenable, Brugha ordered his men to surrender. He however, stayed behind, only to emerge from the building alone, armed with a revolver. The instructions from the Free State command were to shoot him in the legs, which they did, severing a major artery. He died two days later from blood loss.

Cathal Brugha was the last casualty in the battle of Dublin which had cost both sides sixty-five killed and two hundred and eighty wounded. In addition, the Free State took over 400 Republican prisoners. The civilian casualties are thought to have numbered well over 250. The high civilian casualties were doubtless the result of the use of heavy weapons, especially artillery, in a densely populated urban area.


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