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GAA honour the memory of Tipperary Bloody Sunday victim Daniel Carroll

GAA honour the memory of Tipperary Bloody Sunday victim Daniel Carroll

Uachtarán CLG Aogán Ó Fearghail pictured alongside Stephen Brennan in Glasnevin Cemetery on Saturday.

On Saturday the memory of Templederry Bloody Sunday victim Daniel Carroll was honoured when a gravestone was erected in his memory at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin - Stephen Brennan, the grandnephew of Mr Carroll, has revealed to the Tipperary Star what the event meant to his family.

On Saturday, November 19th Daniel Carroll’s surviving relatives, with support from the Gaelic Athletic Association, honoured the memory of 1920 Bloody Sunday victim Daniel Carroll - the Templederry native was buried in an unmarked grave 96 years ago following the atrocity, but a ceremony took place at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin on Saturday to erect a gravestone in his memory.

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail attended the ceremony, as did representatives of the Tipperary County Board and members of the Bloody Sunday Graves Project while the event also featured the extended family of Mr Carroll.


Following a co-ordinated IRA attack, which saw 14 members of the British intelligence forces in Ireland shot on Sunday, November 21st 1920, the British military responded when members of the Auxiliary Division and Royal Irish Constabulary opened fire on the crowd at a Gaelic football challenge match between Tipperary and Dublin at Croke Park.

Fourteen civilians were killed and at least 60 wounded. Tipperary footballer Mick Hogan was shot and killed on the day while Templederry native Daniel Carroll was shot in the leg as he walked up Russell Street outside of Croke Park. The 30-year-old Carroll died the following Tuesday from his injuries and was buried in an unmarked grave at Glasnevin Cemetery on Thursday, November 25th. Daniel Carroll was originally from Ballincara House, Templederry and worked as a barman in Kennedy’s of Drumcondra.

In 2014 Michael Foley, the Sunday Times journalist and award-winning author, published a seminal book, ‘The Bloodied Field’, which detailed the horrific events surrounding Sunday, November 21st 1920. Indeed, the book details the savage events of Bloody Sunday and brings to life, in extraordinary detail, the horror of the day. Mr Foley paints an intimate portrait of those killed and recounts the experiences of the shattered families who were left behind.

Following the publication of Michael Foley’s book the Bloody Sunday Graves Project was formed (supported by the GAA’s Coiste Bainistíochta) - Michael Foley and GAA director of communications Cian Murphy are regarded as driving forces behind it. The group has worked to honour the memory of the dead lying in unmarked graves since 1920. A headstone was unveiled on the final resting place of Jane Boyle in Glasnevin to mark the 95th anniversary a year ago. Last summer saw a headstone unveiled on the final resting place of Dubliner James Teehan while Daniel Carroll became the third victim to have their grave appropriately acknowledged on Saturday. There are five remaining victims in unmarked graves. It is hoped they will be appropriately remembered before the centenary of Bloody Sunday in 2020.

Pictured left is the cover of Michael Foley's extraordinary book 'The Bloodied Field' while Stephen Brennan, Daniel Carroll's grandnephew, is pictured on the right.


The celebrated actor Stephen Brennan (‘Eat The Peach’, ‘The Clinic’ & ‘The General’) is the son of Daphne Carroll and grandnephew of Daniel Carroll. Indeed, Mr Brennan was fulsome in his praise this week of the GAA, Cian Murphy, Michael Foley and everyone associated with the Bloody Sunday Graves Project for helping to honour the memory of his granduncle.

“There was a celebratory tone to the whole thing, but I must say that I found the whole experience deeply moving,” Stephen Brennan told the Tipperary Star.

Stephen’s daughter Kate gave a stunning rendition of 'Slievenamon' during the ceremony which proved an emotional one for Mr Brennan: “I did not realise how moved I would be at this remove of 96 years from a man that I never knew. It was what it all represented. The GAA have been such great guardians of the culture over the years since they were founded back in the 1800s. They have still managed to give leadership to the people in this country in a very positive way. They have welcomed the English rugby team to Croke Park and they have welcomed the Queen to Croke Park. Here we are - we are able to honour the past, but also to look to the future”.

This was a key point that Stephen Brennan wished to make; even though the GAA was working to honour the memory of those who perished in such horrific circumstances 96 years ago that the association was also eager to look to the future.

“I always say that God gave us two good hands - one is to hold on to the past and the other is to reach out to the future. And, I think the GAA are doing that,” Stephen Brennan explained.

“There was a sense of closure to it. We were acknowledging publicly one of the dead from that day. I think Bloody Sunday commemorations are extraordinarily meaningful for people because they should not be forgotten. These kinds of events help us to remember. It was a closure in that way. It had many resonances for us as a family.

“It’s just a lovely thing to do; to acknowledge ordinary, simple people who were innocently shot down in a situation where you would expect them to be having fun. Any shots you would have expected should have been on goal and not on people.

“This man was killed before my mother was born. So, in a way, it is kind of funny to be celebrating someone that I never knew. On the other hand he represents something and a part of our history that we would rather forget, but nevertheless this was part of a bloody history that we have had to deal with. We need to remember it and acknowledge it. Dan just happened to become part of that,” Stephen Brennan said.

“I would say that he would be absolutely mortified to think that he was being made such a fuss over almost one hundred years after his death. He was a very shy, retiring kind of a man. He was a simple man who worked in a bar in Drumcondra called Kennedy’s. He was the manager there; he was on his day off so he went to have a look at the match in Croke Park. He actually had got out of the ground when he was shot in the street. He was just very unlucky. He was shot in the leg as well and you would not necessarily think that would be fatal, but it turned out to be. A very telling remark came from his employer Martin Kennedy - he said that he was the most inoffensive man that he ever knew. And, that probably tells you something about his character. To my grandfather he was a favourite brother. He was just one of those nice, gentle kind of guys.

“He said wasn’t I very unlucky that I went to the match because he had gone and opened the pub on his day off and then at half two he decided to go and have a look at it. And, that’s what happened,” Stephen Brennan added.

Stephen Brennan is planning to make a trip to Templederry to unearth what he can about the Carroll family and his descendants in North Tipperary.

The Tipperary football team pictured in 1920.


In 2014 Michael Foley, the Sunday Times journalist and award-winning author, published a seminal book, ‘The Bloodied Field’, which detailed the horrific events surrounding Sunday, November 21st 1920. Indeed, the book details the savage events of Bloody Sunday and brings to life, in extraordinary detail, the horror of the day. Mr Foley paints an intimate portrait of those killed and recounts the experiences of the shattered families who were left behind.

The following extract from Michael Foley’s book will present you with an insight into Daniel Carroll the person and how misfortunate he was 96 years ago:-

“As Luke O’Toole guided the Freeman’s Journal reporter around Croke Park that Monday morning, crowds continued to gather outside the Mater and Jervis Street Hospitals waiting for news of the dead and wounded. One of them, Daniel Carroll, lay in bed in Jervis Street wondering at his terrible bad luck. His leg was bandaged all the way up to his waist having been operated on the previous evening. The surgeons had found a bullet embedded in his thighbone. The muscles around his thigh were badly lacerated and many of the blood vessels had been severed.

“Martin Kennedy and his wife sat with Carroll. Kennedy owned a pub in Drumcondra that Carroll had managed for the previous three years. Carroll lived with the Kennedys. They never knew him in trouble or as anything other than a reliable worker and a friend.
The day of the match alone told them that. Being the fourth Sunday of the month it was Carroll’s day off, but he still opened the pub that morning and made everything ready. He was still there at 2.30pm. Croke Park was so close and Tipperary were playing. It seemed a sin not to go. ‘Wasn’t it misfortunate I went?’ he said to Martin.

“He was even out of Croke Park when he was hit, he told them. The shot came from a lorry while he walked up Russell Street on his way home. The Kennedys gave him their sympathy and good wishes, and left him to rest. They would call on him again soon.

“His wounds were severe, but he had other things to consider now. What about Mary, his sister? They had both come to Dublin from Templederry in Tipperary after their parents died. She had worked in the Food Control Department for a few months during the war and the Ordnance Clothing Department in Islandbridge, but hadn’t found work since June 1919.

“She had relied on Daniel’s kindness ever since. Of his £120 annual salary from Kennedy’s, Carroll gave her £8 10 shillings a month. It was her only income. His brother, Denis, had only started work in Gibney’s grocery shop in Lucan a fortnight before. He was living with Mr Gibney and his family, and needed all his £30 salary for himself.

“Their other brother, Joseph, was in Tipperary working as an accountant for the Munster and Leinster Bank in Carrick-on-Suir. He had fought in the Great War as an infantry man before joining the Royal Flying Corps where he received the Croix de Guerre in 1918, a medal bestowed by the French government for acts of bravery. He was still a pilot in January 1920 but illness forced him to leave. His salary as an accountant was good, even if the work was a little duller. With a family and a life to rebuild in Tipperary, he hadn’t been able to help Mary either.

“Mary and Daniel had stayed close through their time in Dublin. If Daniel ever went to Croke Park he always called to her house in Drumcondra. She never knew him to consort with politicians or rebels. Any spare time he had was spent with her or watching matches.

“Word of Daniel Carroll reached the Kennedys and the Carrolls around the same time. He had endured a terrible night before finally yielding to death at ten that morning (buried on Thursday morning in Glasnevin).

"Martin Kennedy: I am Daniel Carroll’s employer, he was employed by me as manager. I have been down to Jervis Street Hospital and recognise the deceased as Daniel Carroll. I have known him for years and would say he was about 30 years of age and unmarried. I saw him on Sunday Nov 21st 1920 at about 230pm and I believe he was going to Croke Park. He was the most inoffensive man I ever knew.”


‘The Bloodied Field’ comes highly recommended and is available from all good book shops while you can also buy a copy of Michael Foley’s extraordinary work by clicking here.

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