Recent Acquisitions

Memorial card, Patrick and Harry Loughnane

This memorial card was made for Patrick and Harry Loughnane, both of whom died on November 26, 1920. Patrick was 29 years of age and Harry only 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.

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. This raised fear and suspicion among the brothers’ family and friends and a search was mounted for them. 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 but witnesses, including others arrested at the same time told a tale of merciless brutality. After being arrested the brothers were beaten for hours in Gort Bridewell. From there they were tied to the tailgate of a lorry, bound to each other, and dragged along the roads to Drumharsna Castle, the headquarters of the Black and Tans where 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 failing to bury the bodies because of the rocky ground they threw them into a muddy pond and to make their discovery more difficult threw dirty oil into the water.

After their bodies were discovered they were examined by a local doctor who 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.

A memorial to the two brothers was later built on the spot where they died.

Ref: 2005.184

An Phoblacht Republican News: Horrific death of brothers at hands of Black and Tans
The 1916 Rebellion
The War of Independence: Memoirs of Andrew O'Donoghue, Ex Commander, 5th Batallion, Mid-Clare Brigade
Clare Museum: War of Independence Collection

Memorial card, Patrick and Harry Loughnane 2005.184

Memorial card, Patrick and Harry Loughnane 2005.184