Friday, January 5, 2018

Thomas McEver

I have an article in this week's Tuam Herald concerning the murder of Thomas McEver.

The following is an excerpt. I will post the entire article soon.

By Rónán Gearóid Ó Domhnaill
IN THE early hours of May 20, 1921, a chemist in Dunmore was taken from his lodgings by masked men and murdered. Thus begins and ends the contribution of most historians to this seemingly unexplained murder.
When I first wrote about Thomas McEver in my book Gone the way of Truth — Historic Graves of Galway, I had no idea where his grave was. Neither did anyone else in Dunmore but given that he was a Corkman, all assumed he was buried in Cork.
Several months later, I received a call from my uncle, Eamonn Boyle, who informed me that he had stumbled across and cleaned the long forgotten grave of Thomas McEver in Dunmore Cemetery — I resolved to get more closure on the murder.
The internet will only tell me so much so I made an appointment with the military archives in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin. It is here that witness statements given to the Bureau of Military History are held and old IRA men, who rarely spoke about what they did, speak freely. The files were only made accessible after their deaths. The statements are online but some files are not and the helpful archivist there is a mine of information.
Thomas McEver, sometimes erroneously written as McKeever, was born in Bantry in 1884 to Henry McEver of Fermanagh, a farmer and vintner, and his wife Mary from Co Westmeath. The couple had seven children and both the 1901 and 1911 census show them living in Fisher Street, Kinsale. The 1901 census shows 17-year-old Thomas was an apothecary’s assistant. Ten years later he is listed as a registered druggist. He graduated as a chemist in July 1920 and moved to Galway.
Galway was in turmoil at the time. A curfew had been imposed in Dunmore between the hours of 8pm and 4am and half a company of Scots Borderers were stationed in Dunmore, the other half in Tuam. In 1921 District Inspector Healy had been placed in charge of the RIC in Dunmore. He was the man responsible for the assassination of IRA man Joseph Howley in Dublin and the local IRA tried to assassinate Healy on several occasions but he was always a step ahead of them. Someone was obviously tipping him off.
Against this backdrop McEver arrived in the village in October of 1920 and began work at Stafford’s Medical Hall. He lodged at Glencoe, now demolished, and became romantically attached to a local woman.

1 comment:

  1. My grandmother was a first cousin of Thomas'. I've also recently met the grandchildren of the woman Thomas was engaged to. What's your email and I'll contact you that way.