Charlie Hurley (Irish republican)

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Charles "Charlie" Hurley (Irish: Cathal Ó Muirthile) (died March 1921) was Officer Commanding of the 3rd Cork Brigade (West Cork) of the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921). He was born near the village of Kilbrittain, and in his adolescence became a clerk working for the government. In 1905 he was offered a promotion and a transfer to Haulbowline Island, but declined on the grounds that this entailed enlisting in the Royal Navy, albeit in a purely administrative role.

Hurley led the disastrous Upton Train Ambush on 15 February 1921, in which three IRA men and six civilians were killed. Hurley was also badly wounded in the face.

He was killed in action by British troops just before the Crossbarry Ambush in March 1921. Hurley was staying in a house with a pro-republican family, where he was recuperating from serious wounds he had received at Upton a month earlier. When he realised that he was surrounded by the British forces he fled the house, as Tom Barry comments in his book, to reduce the danger to those in the house. Barry remarks that Hurley, 'went to meet his death like a true Irishman.'

A ballad exists that commemorates him. In addition, the Gaelic Athletic Association grounds in Bandon are named after him.