Mountjoy Hangings - March 1921
Thomas Whelan had been charged with the murder of Capt Baggally in 119 Lr Baggot St on Bloody Sunday along with three others - one of whom was called Boyce. A British Army officer, who occupied the room next to Baggally, identified Whelan as the man who covered him with a revolver as another man (who he identified as Boyce) shot Baggally. Both Boyce and Whelan produced evidence that they were elsewhere during the shooting. Boyce's evidence was accepted and he was acquitted along with the other two charged. Even though Whelan had five witnesses (including a priest stationed in Ringsend) who said he was at 9 o'clock mass in Ringsend church at the time of the shootings, he was still found guilty. (Whelan was a member of A Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, IRA.)
Moran was charged with the murder of Lieutenant Ames at 38 Upr Mount St on Bloody Sunday along with another man called Joseph Rochford. Moran was identified by three British soldiers as taking part in the shooting - they were Major Carew (who lived as 28 Upr Mount St - on the other side of the street from 38), Private Lawrence and Private Snelling. However, Carew was not prepared to swear positively that the man he saw was Moran. Snelling was positive that he saw Moran but he also identified Rochford. Both Moran and Rochford produced alibi evidence that they were elsewhere during the shootings. Rochford's was accepted but Moran's was not. Lawernce said that Moran held him up outside 38 Mount St. However, Lawrence had given identification evidence at the trial of Thomas Whelan and his three co-accused and this evidence had not been accepted by the court. (In addition, there was accusations in the Irish Bulletin of collusion among the witnesses in identification.) Moran produced a large number of witnesses that he was in Blackrock at the time of the shootings - that he went to 8 o'clock mass in Blackrock Church, went home and had breakfast and then took the 9.30am tram from Blackrock to Nelson's Pillar. (Crucial witnesses who were his breakfast companions were, for some reason, not called to give their evidence.) The evidence from these witnesses was not accepted and Moran was found guilty and sentenced to be hung. As noted above, O’Daly said that Moran led the IRA group who killed two men in the Gresham Hotel on Bloody Sunday. (Moran was captain of D Company, 3rd Battalion (?), Dublin Brigade, IRA.)
Thomas Bryan, Patrick Doyle, Frank Flood and Bernard Ryan had been found guilty of high treason after they were arrested in the wake of a failed IRA ambush in Drumcrondra on the 21st January 1921. (For details on the four men - see February 23rd 1920 above.) What is interesting about the case against these four men is that no member of the Crown Forces was killed during the Drumcrondra ambush and this is why the men were charged with high treason. The IRA, of course, regarded the King of England and his government as alien and gave their allegiance to the government of Dáil Eireann.
More generally, the execution of the six IRA prisoners (and other executions of prisoners by the British, before and after this date) provides another element to the debate about the execution of prisoners by the IRA (for example, after the Kilmichael ambush - see 28th November 1920 above).