Irish General Service Medal awarded to Second Lieutenant Michael O'Shea, 'H' (Granagh) Company 4th Battalion, West Limerick Brigade, Irish Republican Army (IRA), 1921
In March 1921 an ex-British soldier was tried as a suspected spy by an IRA court near Ballinaleena. He was found guilty and O'Shea's section was given the responsibility of escorting him to the place of execution.
While on the way to the place of execution the prisoner and escort party were challenged by a British patrol on the Ballinaleena to Bruree road. The British challenged the IRA party to halt, but the latter, believing the challenge to come from another IRA group, kept approaching. The British opened fire and Michael O'Shea, who was leading the escort, and Volunteer Patrick Benson were both wounded. The prisoner managed to escape to the safety of the British patrol and both wounded IRA men were captured.
They were taken by truck to Charleville, where O'Shea died shortly afterwards. His remains were handed over to his family and conveyed to Granagh church where an IRA guard of honour kept watch on the coffin. He was given an IRA funeral the following day at Shanovogha, County Limerick.
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