Sean Cole and Alfred Colley

Sean Cole and Alfred Colley

In August 1922, during the Irish Civil War, two senior Fianna Eireann officers, Sean Cole, Commandant of the 2nd Battalion (Dublin Brigade) and Alfred Colley, Commandant of the 1st Battalion (Dublin Brigade) were arrested by intelligence members of the National Army at Newcomen Bridge on the North Strand and taken to Yellow Road, Whitehall in North Dublin and shot dead. It was believed to be an act of reprisal for the shooting of Michael Collins, which took place a number of days before.

They were apparently on their way home from a meeting of local Fianna officers. Their deaths were a terrible blow for the Fianna Eireann organization at a time when the tide was rapidly turning against them. Many senior officers, including those on the GHQ, were by now arrested and detained by the Free State government so the loss of such experienced and active members of the Fianna caused significant damage to both the moral and running of the organization.

Alfred Colley’s family requested a small private funeral and he was buried with a Fianna Guard of Honour. Sean Cole’s burial was a larger affair and he was given a full military funeral, with a firing party. Countess Markievicz delivered a graveside oration.

Today a plaque commemorates the spot where the two young men lost their lives.

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