Thomas Traynor

Last updated
Thomas Traynor
Born(1882-05-27)27 May 1882
Died25 April 1921(1921-04-25) (aged 39)
Nationality Irish
Occupation Cobbler
Known forExecuted IRA volunteer  : One of The Forgotten Ten

Thomas Traynor (27 May 1882 – 25 April 1921) was a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) hanged in Mountjoy Prison during the Irish War of Independence. [1]

Irish Republican Army Irish republican revolutionary military organisation

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is a name used by various paramilitary organisations in Ireland throughout the 20th and the 21st century. The political movement is dedicated to Irish republicanism, the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic free from British rule. The original Irish Republican Army formed in 1917 from those Irish Volunteers who did not enlist in the British Army during World War I, members of the Irish Citizen Army and others. Irishmen formerly in the British Army returned to Ireland and fought in the Irish War of Independence. During the Irish War of Independence it was the army of the Irish Republic, declared by Dáil Éireann in 1919. Some Irish people dispute the claims of more recently created organisations that insist that they are the only legitimate descendants of the original IRA, often referred to as the "Old IRA".

Mountjoy Prison prison

Mountjoy Prison, founded as Mountjoy Gaol and nicknamed The Joy, is a medium security prison located in Phibsborough in the centre of Dublin, Ireland. It has the largest prison population in Ireland. The current prison warden is Brian Murphy.

Irish War of Independence Guerrilla war (1919–1921) between the IRA and British forces, ended by the Anglo-Irish Treaty

The Irish War of Independence or Anglo-Irish War was a guerrilla war fought in Ireland from 1919 to 1921 between the Irish Republican Army and British forces: the British Army, along with the quasi-military Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and its paramilitary forces the Auxiliaries and Ulster Special Constabulary (USC). It was an escalation of the Irish revolutionary period into warfare.



Traynor was born on 27 May 1882 in Tullow in County Carlow, Ireland, [2] and was 38 at the time of his death. [1] He was an experienced soldier having been a member of the Boland's Mill garrison during the Easter Rising, 1916. After the Rising he was interned in Frongoch, Wakefield Jail and Mountjoy Jail where he shared a cell with Seán Mac Eoin. [1]

Tullow Town in Leinster, Ireland

Tullow is a market town in County Carlow, Ireland. It is located on the River Slaney where the N81 road intersects with the R725.

County Carlow County in the Republic of Ireland

County Carlow is a county in Ireland, part of the South-East Region and the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Carlow, which lies on the River Barrow. Carlow County Council is the local authority. The population was 56,932 at the 2016 census.

Bolands Mill

Boland's Mill was located on the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin, Ireland on Ringsend Road between the inner basin of Grand Canal Dock and Barrow Street. As of 2019, it is undergoing a €150 million reconstruction to become Bolands Quay, a development of new residences and commercial, retail, and civic spaces.

He worked as a boot maker and was married with ten children. At the time of his death the eldest was 18 years and the youngest 5 months. [1] The eldest son, Frank, represented Ireland at the 1928 Summer Olympics, competing as a bantamweight boxer. [3]

Ireland at the 1928 Summer Olympics

Ireland competed at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 38 competitors, 33 men and 5 women, took part in 27 events in 6 sports. Ireland won its first Olympic medal as an independent nation as Pat O'Callaghan won the gold medal in the men's hammer throw.

Capture and execution

Traynor was captured during an ambush on Auxiliaries in Brunswick Street, Dublin, on 14 March 1921, and tried on 5 April at City Hall. [1] He was part of a party of IRA volunteers keeping watch outside a meeting at 144 Brunswick Street that included Seán MacBride. During the fight an IRA volunteer, Leo Fitzgerald, was killed, as were Constable James O'Farrell and Cadet Bernard Beard of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. [4] Traynor was reportedly badly beaten by members of the Igoe Gang. [1]

Auxiliary Division

The Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary (ADRIC), generally known as the Auxiliaries or Auxies, was a paramilitary unit of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) during the Irish War of Independence. It was set up in July 1920 and made up of former British Army officers, most of whom came from Great Britain. Its role was to conduct counter-insurgency operations against the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The Auxiliaries became infamous for their reprisals on civilians and civilian property in revenge for IRA actions, the best known example of which was the burning of Cork city in December 1920.

City Hall, Dublin civic building in Dublin, Ireland

The City Hall, Dublin, originally the Royal Exchange, is a civic building in Dublin, Ireland. It was built between 1769 and 1779 to the designs of architect Thomas Cooley and is a notable example of 18th-century architecture in the city.

Seán MacBride Irish politician and human rights activist

Seán MacBride was an Irish Clann na Poblachta politician who served as Minister for External Affairs from 1948 to 1951, Leader of Clann na Poblachta from 1946 to 1965 and Chief of Staff of the IRA from 1936 to 1939. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1947 to 1957.

Mark Sturgis [ who? ] wrote:

Traynor, captured red handed with an attacking party when Auxiliaries were killed in Brnswick Street, was executed this morning. I don't think they will make much fuss as there is no sort of 'alibi' business this time - nor is he the usual 'youth', dear to 'The Freeman', as he is over 40 and has a pack of children, the poor deluded idiot. [5]

The Freeman's Journal was the oldest nationalist newspaper in Dublin, Ireland. It was founded in 1763 by Charles Lucas and was identified with radical 18th-century Protestant patriot politicians Henry Grattan and Henry Flood. This changed from 1784 when it passed to Francis Higgins and took a more pro-British and pro-administration view. In fact Francis Higgins is mentioned in the Secret Service Money Book as having betrayed Lord Edward FitzGerald. Higgins was paid £1,000 for information on FitzGerald's capture.

On the day following his death, Gilbert Potter, a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) District Inspector based in Cahir, County Tipperary, and being held for Traynor's safe treatment was executed in reprisal by members of the Third Tipperary Brigade. Another IRA volunteer, Jack Donnelly, captured with Traynor was sentenced to death but reprieved by the declaration of an impending truce in June 1921. [6]

Gilbert Potter Irish police officer

Gilbert Norman Potter was a District Inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary. He was born in Dromahair, County Leitrim and was stationed at Cahir, County Tipperary, during the Irish War of Independence. In April 1921 he was captured and executed by the Irish Republican Army in reprisal for the British execution of Thomas Traynor, an Irish republican.

Royal Irish Constabulary former armed police force of the United Kingdom in Ireland

The Royal Irish Constabulary was the police force in Ireland from the early nineteenth century until 1922. A separate civic police force, the unarmed Dublin Metropolitan Police, patrolled the capital, and the cities of Derry and Belfast, originally with their own police forces, later had special divisions within the RIC. About 75% of the RIC were Roman Catholic and about 25% were of various Protestant denominations.

Cahir Town in Munster, Ireland

Cahir is a town in County Tipperary in Ireland. It is also a civil parish in the barony of Iffa and Offa West.


Traynor was one of a group of men hanged in Mountjoy Prison from 1920–21, commonly referred to as The Forgotten Ten. In 2001 he and the other nine, including Kevin Barry, were exhumed from their graves in the prison and given a full State Funeral. He is now buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in the capital city of Dublin.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Department of the Taoiseach: reinterment of 10 volunteers executed". Archived from the original on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  2. "General Registrar's Office". Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  3. "Amateur Boxing - Frank Traynor". Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  4. The Irish Times, Monday, 25 April 1921.
  5. The Last Days of Dublin Castle - The Diaries of Mark Sturgis. p. 162. ISBN   978-0-7165-2626-1.
  6. "Diarmuid Lynch weekly" (PDF). Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  7. 1 2 Tullow Museum website,; accessed 15 April 2017.