Skip to main content

Civil War executions


“Supported by the Department of Tourism,  Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.”

In this podcast, author and historian Eoin Swithin Walsh tells the stories of John Murphy and John Phelan executed in Kilkenny Military Barracks in 1922

'The only Civil War executions to take place in Kilkenny during the Civil War occurred between Christmas 1922 and New Year. On 29th December, just after 8am, John Murphy and John Phelan were executed by firing squad inside Kilkenny Military Barracks on charges of larceny and having arms without a licence. Both men were members of an anti-Treaty IRA column, although their executions came as a huge surprise to most. John Murphy (aged 22) of Bishopslough, Bennettsbridge, was from a family of seven children and left his mother, Kate, to mourn his loss. John Phelan (aged 32) was from Thomastown and left a wife, Bridget, and three children; Mary aged seven, Frances aged five, and Bernard aged just nine months.

These weren’t the only fatalities in Kilkenny Military Barracks that Christmastide. Find out what happened to Free State solicitor Fred Lidwell who was accidentally killed in the barracks the week previously. .'

Civil-War-Executions---KK-Barracks-Dec-1922.mp3 (size 26.6 MB)

John Murphy                                                                                                                John Phelan

          John-Murphy                John-Phelan

John Phelan