Kilbrittain’s Brigadier Charles Hurley

Online Mass in St. Patrick’s Church Kilbrittain on Wednesday, St. Patrick’s Day 17th March was offered for the soul of Kilbrittain’s most renowned patriot, Brigadier Charles Hurley (1893-1921) of Baurleigh, Kilbrittain Company and Officer Commanding Cork Third Brigade 1920-1921. 100 years ago on the morning of 19th March 1921, Brigade Commandant Hurley was killed whilst fighting singlehandedly through an encirclement of crown forces at Forde’s farmhouse at Ballymurphy prior to the Battle of Crossbarry. He died defending the family of the house.

He was 27 years old when he was killed and had been recovering from serious wounds received at the Upton Ambush. A tireless volunteer organiser and fearless freedom fighter, Hurley was a member of Cobh, Castletownbere & Kilbrittain Companies, and was Vice-Commandant of Bandon Battalion prior to taking over command of the West Cork Brigade. He was responsible for the formation of the famous West Cork Flying Column or ‘Barry’s Flying Column’. A noted scholar, he was also a hurler with Kilbrittain G.A.A. Club in the 1910’s. He was buried in the family grave at Clogagh Cemetery with full military honours. Ar dheis Dé go raibh an anam.

A memorial sculpture to Brigadier Hurley has been planned for the Independence Garden in the village. Current restrictions have impeded progress for now but will resume at the nearest convenience. The Commemoration Garden Committee would appreciate any support for this project.


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Kilbrittain’s Brigadier Charles Hurley
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