Royal Irish Academy

A Revolution in Profiles - Co. Offaly

In association with The Royal Irish Academy

Constance/Connie Tynan 1901-1922

Constance Tynan was born  in Tullamore in 1901. Her father Edward operated a public house and grocers on William/Colmcille Street. Connie’s mother Delia (nee Fitzmaurice) hailed from Athleague and died in 1903 at the age of 33.

Edward maintained contact with his wife’s family and the couple’s three children were regular visitors to the homes of their Roscommon relatives. Delia’s sister Rosalie had married Patrick Caffery in 1902 while working in Dublin and the pair founded a drapery business in Patrick’s hometown of Ballina. After Patrick’s premature death in 1912, Rosalie continued to manage the business while rearing her three children. Connie moved to stay with her aunt in Mayo in 1922. The same year Rosalie’s youngest child Patrick junior passed away.

In the Summer of 1922 Mayo like much of Ireland was in a state of flux. A majority of the county’s IRA had rejected the Treaty and occupied its major towns, only to be ejected following the arrival of National Army troops in July. Pro-Treaty forces set to work establishing garrisons in urban centres, anti-Treaty columns continued to operate in the countryside. 

In August, Lieutenant Patrick Moran of the National Army was shot dead outside his parents’ home by an intoxicated solider who had been refused lodgings for the night. On 12th September, a republican force under the command of Michael Kilroy exploited the presence of most of the Ballina garrison at their comrades’ months mind mass to enter and capture the town.

Advancing at the front of the IRA column was a captured armoured car named the ‘Rose of Lough Gill’. As Connie Tynan made her way from St Muredach’s Cathedral where she had been attending the mass in memory of Lieutenant Moran, she was shot and killed at the Bridge Street end of Ham Bridge in crossfire when the armoured car opened fire on two National Army soldiers.

Kilroy’s men captured the town without suffering any causalities and the pro-Treaty forces suffered no fatalities. But two civilians, Connie Tynan and a 26-year-old cattle dealer named Matthew Geraghty were killed during the hostilities. Unable to hold the town and unimpressed with signs of indiscipline among some of his own men, Kilroy withdrew his force that night.

Constance Tynan’s remains were removed to Tullamore for her funeral at the Church of the Assumption. A large crowd attended and all business in the town was suspended for the duration of the obsequies. As the cortege passed the Army garrison on High Street the guard presented arms. She was buried at Clonminch Cemetery.

The author wishes to acknowledge the existing work of Sinead Michelle Brennan on Connie Tynan


 Sources:

1901 and 1911 Census. Search online at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/

Sinead Michelle Brennan ‘The Girl on the Bridge’ Western People. 13 September 2022.

Michael Hopkinson. ‘Green against Green:The Irish Civil War’. (Dublin) 1988.

Domonic Price. ‘The Candle and the Flame, War in Mayo 1919-1924’. (Cork) 2012.

Freeman Journal. 15 September 1922. 23 September 1922.

Irish Times. 15 September 1922.

Leinster Reporter. 23 September 1922.

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