Stories of Athenry and the Irish Civil War 1922-1923 Part 2 : Shot! by Ronan Killeen
On Sunday 1 October 1922, a member of National Armed Forces-Corporel Stephen Diviney who came from the Oranmore district was walking home from a dance in Payne's Hall came across two raiders who had just fired shots into two shops belonging to Messrs. Broderick.
Corporel Diviney was demanded to halt by the raiders, thinking it was his own comrades 'It is all right boys' and was shot by raiders and the bullet pierced his heart.
According to the Connaught Tribune:
Before 11 p.m. most people were in their houses or at the dance, either two or four men, who are said to have been armed with rifles, discharged a number of armed rifles, discharged a number of shots into Messrs. Brodericks chemist shop and also into a public house owned by the same family.
After Corporel Diviney was shot he fell into a pool of his own blood and died within a few minutes. This
was the first time blood had been shed in Athenry before the recent trouble. The National troops immediately
came out onto the streets, searched all likely hiding places, and went to the show grounds and adjoining fields. Thirteen men were arrested and marched to Galway Jail by the National troops. The men that were
arrested were the following:
C. Daly, P.J. Daly, T.J. Daly, M. Ward, M. Kelleher, J. Clancy, Stephen Jordan, T. Regan, and J.Regan.
Dr.Crowley, coroner for south Galway, opened an inquest on Monday into the circumstances touching the
death of Corporal Diviney. A Sergeant of the National Armed Troops was returning with Corporel
Diviney was called to halt and put his hands up when the incident happened.The inquest adjurned until Saturday 1 p.m. for the attendance of Dr. Quinlan.
At the Railway Hotel, Athenry, on Saturday the adjourned inquest tourching the death of Corporal Stephen Diviney, who was shot dead outside O'Neill's corner, Athenry, was examined by Dr. Crowley-Coroner, Loughrea. Medical evidence was to the effect that the deceased died as a result of a bulet entering the chest over the hear. The Galway Observer on the 14 October 1922 reported:
Sergeant Thomas Creaven, who was in company with deceased, stated that they left the dacne together, and that when near the post office saw two men in front of them. One of the men shouted 'halt' and fired immediately. The bullet struck Coporel Diviney, who advanced a pace, and then fell on his back. The shot followed immediately after the cry of 'halt'.
The coroner was told by the witness said they stopped when challenged, as they had no time to go forward when the shot rang out. In charging the jury, the coroner said it was a callous act to shoot a man because he was wearing the uniform of the National army. The jury brought ina verdict that the deceased met his death from the effects of bullet wounds wilfully inflicted by some person or persons unkonown.
One famous local Old IRA man- Stephen Jordan was released from Galway Jail were a statement from him was put into the paper:
Sir,---In justice to myself and with a view to preventing the circulation of further lies by busybodies, I beg to state that my release from Galway prison on Saturday last after five days detention was 'unconditional,' otherwise I would not accept my liberty.
At proper place and time I will give true facts as to the treatment meted out to myself and others during and after our arrest. I should feel grateful for the publication of this letter in you next issue.
STEPHEN JORDAN Co.C. Athenry, Oct 11, 1922