Thomas O'Donovan

3 O'Donovan brothers -Cecil aged 18, Thomas aged 17 and Aidan aged 14 - after they left Mass on Sun 20 Feb 1921, walked to Blackwater Mill in Parteen to find birds nests. Along the way they were joined by their Cousin Brendan O'Donovan , aged 19.

They are thought to have reached the Mill after their 4 mile walk at around noon. Someone seems to have noticed them rooting aroun in the Mill and, thing that they were IRA drilling, contacted the Crown Forces. This reulted in a Police convoy being dispatched to the Mill to investigate and reaching the Mill at 13.30

The Police convoy consisted of 2 Crossley tenders and 2 cars, so it was around 25 men. They were under the command of DI Greasley and an Army IO, Capt James Dudley Sturrock . Sturrock says that he got information about the suspicious movements in the Mill, and decided to send a patrol to investigate. He said that when they got there , he saw 7 to 9 men leaving the Mill. And while Greasley and Sturrok were investigating, he heard firing come from the RIC in the tenders under the control of Sgt James Horan and Sgt Lawrence Flynn.

Aidan and Lawrence Donovan were killed immediaely. Brendan escaped , and Thomas put up his hands and surrendered.

It is clear that neither of the two officers gave the order to open fire. The inquiry does not appear to established who did give the order.

It is surprising that the Military IO was able to get the Crown Forces there as quickly. It indicateds that he must have had an informant who had used a phone to tell him.






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