Patrick and Harry Loughnane

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Patrick and Harry Loughnane were Irish nationalist brothers who were killed around 26 November 1920 whilst in the custody of the Royal Irish Constabulary.

Family background[edit]

Patrick was 29 years of age and Harry 22 years. Patrick Loughnane was a local IRA leader and Sinn Féin secretary, he was also active in the local GAA. Harry, his younger brother, was president of the local Sinn Féin club and a goalkeeper with Beagh hurling club. They lived at the family farm at Shanaglish, near Kinvara, with their mother and sister.Harry spent much of his time playing with children and one day hoped to be a primary school teacher but ill health prevented this from happening. Patrick played full-back for beagh and was described as a "tower of strength". He had regretted not taking part in the Easter rising of 1916.

Arrests and deaths[edit]

While working on the family farm in Shanaglish on the evening of November 26, the two brothers were arrested by the Black and Tans. Nothing was heard of, nor from, the boys until a week after their arrest when a group of Auxiliaries called to Mrs. Loughnane to inform her that her sons had escaped their capture. Ten days after they had been arrested their bodies were found in a muddy pond near Ardrahan.

Exactly what happened to the two brothers will never be known. It is believed that after being arrested the brothers were beaten for hours in Gort Bridewell. From there they were reportedly tied to the tailgate of a lorry and dragged along the roads.[1] At Drumharsna Castle, the headquarters of the Black and Tans they were beaten again. At 11pm that night they were taken from Drumharsna Castle to Moy O’Hynes wood where they were shot. Witnesses have recounted that on Saturday morning, Harry was still alive and was heard moaning. On Sunday morning, the Auxiliaries took the bodies to Umbriste near Ardrahan where they were set alight.


After their bodies were discovered they were examined by a local doctor. They were badly burnt and it was found that the letters ‘I.V.’ were cut into the charred flesh in several places, two of Harry’s fingers were missing and his right arm which was broken completely across the shoulder was hanging off. Both of Pat’s legs and wrists were broken. The doctor thought it possible that hand grenades had been put into their mouths and exploded.


Despite a heavy Black and Tan presence in the area, Volunteer officers held an inquest and the verdict was inscribed on the breast plates of the coffins: At two o'clock in the afternoon, the two coffins were taken down the road to the cemetery and laid side by side in a separate plot. As soon as the last sods had been placed in position six local Volunteers stepped forward and fired three volleys.

A detailed account of the events surrounding the killings was kept by the Irish nationalist and playwright, Augusta, Lady Gregory, which contain first and second-hand accounts the events of the time.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Lennox Robinson, ed., Lady Gregory’'s Journals 1916-30, 1946

External links[edit]