27 May 1881|
Tullow, County Carlow
|Died||25 April 1921
Mountjoy Jail, Dublin
|Known for||Executed IRA volunteer : One of The Forgotten Ten|
Traynor was from Tullow in County Carlow, Ireland, and was 39 at the time of his death. He was an experienced soldier having been a member of the Boland's Mill garrison during the Easter Rising, 1916. After the Rising he was interned in Frongoch and in Wakefield Jail where he shared a cell with Seán Mac Eoin. He worked as a boot maker and was married with ten children. At the time of his death the eldest was 18 years and the youngest 5 months. Traynor's eldest son, Francis, represented Ireland at the 1928 Summer Olympics, competing as a bantamweight boxer.
Capture and execution
Traynor was captured during an ambush on Auxiliaries in Brunswick Street, Dublin, on 14 March 1921, and tried on 5 April at City Hall. He was part of a party of IRA men keeping watch outside a meeting at 144 Brunswick street that included Seán MacBride. During the fight Volunteer Leo Fitzgerald was killed, as were Constable James O'Farrell and Cadet Bernard Beard of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. He was badly beaten by the Igoe Gang before execution. Dublin Castle seemed to consider the execution of Traynor mainly in terms of the impact it would have on Irish public opinion. From his diary extract, it would appear that Mark Sturgis a senior Civil Sevant of the Castle administration, seemed unaware that a hostage was being held in the event of Traynor being killed.
(Monday 25 April) Traynor, captured red handed with an attacking party when Auxiliaries were killed in Brnswick Street, was executed this morning. I don't think they will make much fuss as there is no sort of 'alibi' business this time - nor is he the usual 'youth', dear to 'The Freeman', as he is over 40 and has a pack of children, the poor deluded idiot.
On the day following his death, Gilbert Potter, a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) District Inspector based in Cahir, Co. Tipperary, and being held for Traynor's safe treatment was executed in reprisal. Another IRA member, Jack Donnely, captured with Thomas was also sentenced to death but reprieved by the declaration of the truce in June 1921.
Remembered in popular culture
In 1965 a statue was erected to Traynor in his native town of Tullow.
A song 'The Ballad of Thomas Traynor' was also written in his memory.
Thomas Traynor was one of a group of men hanged in Mountjoy Prison in the period 1920-1921, commonly referred to as The Forgotten Ten. In 2001 he and the other nine, including Kevin Barry, were exhumed from their graves in the prison and given a full State Funeral. He is now buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.
- http://web.archive.org/web/20071202182547/http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/index.asp?locID=383&docID=511 Archived 2007
- The Irish Times, Monday April 25th, 1921
- p162 The Last Days of Dublin Castle - The Diaries of Mark Sturgis ISBN 978-0-7165-2626-1