Óglach Thomas Murphy, aged 22, F Company, 6th Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Óglach Thomas Murphy, aged 22.

Murdered in his bed by Black and Tans at ‘The Hotel’, Foxrock Village, on this day 1921.

At the time of his death, Thomas or ‘Tommy’ Murphy, a popular young uilleann-piper, was one of a number of young men active with the local IRA company, a unit made up of men from the Deansgrange, Cornelscourt, Cabinteely and Foxrock districts. By the summer of 1921, several of it’s members had been forced ‘on the run’ and began operating as a full-time ‘flying column’, sleeping rough in stables and sheds and harassing crown forces at any opportunity that presented itself.

Attacks on the local RIC barracks at Cabinteely were numerous. In the dead of night, Volunteers, acting under cover of darkness, would make their way to the village, where they would creep along the empty streets, taking up positions before subjecting the barracks to a sustained attack using rifles and home-made bombs. Just weeks before his death, Thomas Murphy, dressed in a chauffeur’s uniform in order to give the appearance of a British officer, had driven a car at top speed past the barracks while the car’s other two occupants lobbed bombs at the Black and Tan sentries posted outside.

On May 13th, local Volunteer Charles ‘Rodney’ Murphy (no relation) of Deansgrange, scaled a tree in the Brennanstown Road area, using his elevated position overlooking the barracks to snipe at two Black and Tans tending to the gardens in the yard out back. Constable Albert Edward Skeats, a Black and Tan recruit from London, was hit behind the ear and rushed to a hospital in the city, where he lay critically ill. He eventually succumbed to his injuries on May 28th. The night after his death, a party of Tans and RIC returning to their barracks were ambushed at Monaloe cross-roads by Volunteers Jackie Nolan, John Merriman and Billy Fitzgibbon. During a brisk gunfight, one constable was wounded before the Volunteers made their escape across fields.

With one of their number dead and another now seriously injured, tensions inside Cabinteely barracks had reached boiling point. Just before three o’clock in the morning, a party of five Tans, faces blackened with shoe polish, made their way along Brennanstown Road to Foxrock, where they stopped at ‘The Hotel’, a large tenement building that once stood in the centre of the village. It was here that Volunteer Thomas Murphy resided along with his widowed mother and four sisters. As the building was home to several families, the front door was left open, enabling the Tans to make their way inside unnoticed. They then quietly made their way to Thomas’ room before bursting through his bedroom door, waking the startled man from his sleep. One of the intruders asked if he was Thomas Murphy, and when he replied that he was, a shot was fired, hitting the young man through his head, the bullet passing through the wall into the adjacent room. As the intruders left, Thomas’ mother and sisters rushed into the room to find their son in a collapsed state. Despite the best efforts of a local doctor, Thomas died where he lay several hours later.

On June 1st, Thomas’ remains were buried at Deansgrange Cemetery following a military enquiry. In a large funeral cortege, members of the Dublin and South Eastern Railway Company, where Thomas worked as a porter, marched in a body after the hearse. Numerous wreaths were placed over the coffin, which was wrapped in a tricolour flag. Thomas’ IRA comrades supplied a guard of honour and firing party. Three volleys of shots were fired as the coffin was lowered into the grave, before men and arms managed to get safely out of the cemetery through a cordon of British military.

With many thanks to: Sean Larkin, South Derry.


THE Parades Commission has granted permission for a mass loyalist band parade in the mixed village of Stoneyford, with restrictions placed on the time bandsmen must disperse.


Sinn Fein met with police yesterday. to discuss concerns at a “ratcheting” of tensions in the village following the release of convicted paedophile Mark Harbinson, pictured, who left Mibandgan prison last month having serto thed a sentence for abusing a 13-year-old girl. Harbinson, who is on the sex offenders register until 2017, is banned from being in the company of anyone under the age of 18 without permission of social services. Despite this he has reinvolved himself with the Pride of the Village flute band he helped found and has been seen in the company of teenagers at a bonfire site on the ouskirts of Stoneyford. A parade in the village on June 29 involving 20 bands and 1,000 supporters will now go ahead after permission was granted by the commission. However, the commission ruled loyalists must disperse by 9.30pm and not 11pm as was orgionally applied for.

Convicted Paedophile Mark Harbinson.

Prior to his imprisonment Harbinson (a former leader of the Orange Volenteers ) and his supporters waged a sectarian campaign in the village for many years with a number of nationalist families forced to flee the area. Sinn Fein assembly member for South Antrim Mitchel McLoughlin met the PSNI yesterday to express concerns and seek assurances that the Parades Commission determination would be fully upheld. “Over the past weeks we have seen the erection of flags, the return of a bonefire at the reservior and the application by the Pride of the Village flute band to parade for several hours around the town,” he said. “These events can only be described as deliberately sectarian and provocative in order to raise tensions in the village. “Further to this we raised the issue of Mark Harbinson’s return to the village and his reinvolvement in both the local flute band and the bonefire. “We have stressed to the PSNI that this is a volatile situation which needs to be monitored. There can be no return to the sectarian intimidation and attacks that blighted the village a number of years ago. “Given that the Parades Commission determination has placed restrictions on this parade there is now an onus on the PSNI to ensure that these conditions are met.”

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, Irish News.


Sex offender banned from being within 100m of areas where kids congregate.

CONCERNS have been raised about how police and social services are monitoring a hhigh-profile loyalist jailed for sexually abusing a 13-year-old schoolgirl. Convicted paedophile Mark Harbinson (45) received a three-and-a-half year sentence for molesting the schoolgirl and having topless pictures of her on his mobile phone


Harbinson, from sheepwalk Road in Stoneyford, was released from Magilligan Prison last month. He will remain monitored by police, probition and social services as a convicted sex offender untill May 2017. Among the restrictions placed upon him are he must not communicate or associate with any youths under 18-years-of-age. However, it is beleived that since his release Harbinson has reinvolved himself with The Pride of the Village flute band despite the band having very young members. The group has applied to hold a mass band parade through the village involving 20 bands and more than 1,000 supporters next Sarurday. Residents say Harbinson has also been seen in the company of teenagers at a loyalist bonfire site on the outskirts of Stoneyford, in direct breach of his release conditions. These state he must not be within 100 meters of areas “where children congregate without prior notification of Social Services”.

Police have been asked to clarify if Harbinson – who was expelled from the Orange Order following his conviction – has breached the terms of his release since returning to the area. South Antrim MLA Michel McLaughlin is to meet the PSNI area district commander today. Mr McLaughlin said peope had raised concerns about Harbinson return to the village and tensions linked to it. “There has not been a bonefire in this village for sometime,” he said. “I understand that Mark Herbinson has involved himself in the village band and was seen on Tuesday afternoon in the company of youths at the bonefire site,” he said. “I will be meeting with police to hear how they intend handling the situation in Stoneyford.”

Answers sought over paedophile’s possible breach of release terms.

Restrictions placed upon him include :

  • That he must not “without reasonable excuse cause or excuse from directly initiating any comnunicition with or initiating access to and having association with any children under the age of 18.
  • Having any young person under 18 in any vehicle which he owns or has access to without prior approval from Social Services and his Designated Risk Manger.
  • Possessing any software including mobile telephone/ computer technology/ camera, which would store files or images of young persons unless approved by his designated risk manger.
  • Having in his possession any photograph of a child under the age of 18 years without prior approval from Social Services and his Designated Risk Manger.
  • Participating in any voluntary or charitable organisation without the appoval of his risk manger.

He must also allow police and social services access to his home at any time to search the premises to ensure he is a biding by the terms of his release.

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, Irish News.


Meanwhile, a loyalist band founded by convicted peadophile Mark Harbinson is seeking permission to hold a late-night parade with 20 bands and more than 1,000 supporters through the mixed Co Antrim village of Stoneyford.

Mark Harbinson Sick Paedophile

Harbinson, who was freed from jail last month having served a three-and-a-half-year sentence for the sexual abuse of a schoolgirl, is a leading member of The Pride of the Village Band. Some of the abuse took place in an Orange Hall in the village. The 45-year-old was found guilty of molesting his 13-year-old victim and having pictures of her topless on his mobile phone. Since his release he has reinvolved himself with the band and has been seen putting union and UVF flags up on main routes leading into the mixed village on the outskirts of Lisburn. The band has applied to the Parades Commission to hold a march on Saturday June 29 through the Main Street of the village with an outward journey not ccompleted until 11pm at night.

Sinn Fein assembly member Mitchell McLaughlin met with the Parades Commission on Wednesday to express concerns about the march, saying the application is designed to “ratchet up community tensions”. Harbinson had previously been accused of waging a campaign of sectarian attacks against Catholics living in Stoneyford. Mr McLaughlin said the parade plans were “a gross act of sectarian intimidation against all the people of this village – Catholic, Protestant, unionist and nationalist”. “The Parades Commission must by their decision make it clear that it will not permit such an abuse of people’s human rights. “I suggested they permit the local band and a small number of supporters to parade. “I expressed my concerns to the commission about Harbinson’s presence and I have spoken to the police about this matter as well. “I will be meeting the police on Friday to hear how they intend handling the situation in Stoneyford”, he said.

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, Irish News.

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