“He was the most inoffensive man I ever knew”

“He was the most inoffensive man I ever knew”

Templederry man and Bloody Sunday victim Daniel Carroll

Daniel with his sister May











This year marks the centenary of one of the darkest days in not just the history of the GAA, but of the country as a whole when fourteen people went to Croke Park to see Tipperary play Dublin in a football match and never came home. Bloody Sunday is etched into the fabric of the GAA and is even closer to the hearts of Tipperary people as we lost three men that day, James Teehan, Michael Hogan and Daniel Carroll. Loughmore Castleiney are very proud of their connections to the team with Bill Ryan and Jim Ryan on the starting fifteen however there is another less well-known link to that awful day.

Daniel Carroll, 31, from Ballincarra House, Templederry who was one of the fourteen victims is related to the McGraths on the Loughmore Castleiney side. Their great grandmother was Anne Ryan of Dawsonsbog, Templederry. She was a second cousin of Daniel and her brother John traveled with him to Croke Park that day. Last year Templederry Kenyons GAA club remembered Carroll as they unveiled a beautiful plaque in his memory in their grounds.

The plaque dedicated to Daniel Carroll on the clubhouse wall in Kenyon Park, Templederry

Elite sporting pedigree clearly runs in the family as the McGraths are an established part of GAA folklore in the county. Daniel himself was a first cousin of the well-known athlete JC Hayes who won three senior national titles, the 1000 yards steeplechase (1897) and the four miles (1900) under the authority of the Irish Amateur Athletic Championships and in 1907 he captured the four miles title under the auspicious of the Gaelic Athletic Association Championships.

Growing up close to the village of Templederry, they lived on a 70-acre farm of quality land, raising livestock and growing vegetables while their home was a two-storey Georgian style house with many outbuildings. Tragedy struck in 1897 when his father Michael died following an accident and he left four children, all under the age of twelve behind.

The third youngest of four, Daniel moved to Clonliffe Road in the capital in 1912 when his mother sold the family farm and she passed away the following year.  Since 1917, he managed the pub of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Kennedy, also originally from Tipperary, in Drumcondra. Such was the high esteem his employers held Daniel in, that they allowed him to board with them in their home on 1 James’ Street East near Christ Church Cathedral.

Daniel was particularly close to his sister Mary (May) and regularly visited her at her lodgings near Clonliffe Road, especially when going to GAA matches in Croke Park. May had previously worked in the Food Control Department and the Ordnance Clothing Department during the First World War but unfortunately had been out of work since June 1919 and relied on her brother’s kindness for survival. Daniel generously gave her £8 10s a month out of his annual £120 annual wage. It was her only income. Two weeks prior to Bloody Sunday, their brother Denis started working in Gibney’s Grocery in Lucan and need his £30 salary for himself. Their other brother Joseph was an accountant for the Munster and Leinster Bank in Carrick on Suir. He had previously fought in World War 1 as an infantryman before joining the Royal Flying Corps. He saw action in both the Battle of Messines and the Battle of Flanders. He received the Crois de Guerre medal for bravery from the French government in 1918. He had to leave his job as a pilot in Jan 1920 due to illness and had not been in a position to help May either.

Kennedy’s Pub, Drumcondra

Bloody Sunday was supposed to be a day off for Daniel as at the time barmen were entitled to every fourth Sunday off however he went in and opened the bar as a favour. Close to throw-in time, at about 2:30pm, Daniel decided to go to the game in Croke Park to see his native county play Dublin. It was a decision that proved fatal.

Shortly after ten minutes of action chaos reigned supreme in the stadium as the British authorities opened fire on innocent spectators and players. Daniel managed to escape the whizzing bullets and carnage and crossed the bridge onto Russell St. as he frantically searched for safety. A police lorry approached and for some reason, we will never know, someone on board decided to shoot Daniel hitting him on the tight, lacerating the muscle and severing the blood vessels.

Daniel was brought to Jervis Street Hospital where his leg was bandaged right up to his waist and he was operated on that evening. The surgeons managed to remove the bullet that had lodged itself into his tight bone.

Russell St. near Croke Park where Daniel was shot

He was visited in hospital by Martin Kennedy and his wife. They sat and chatted with Daniel remarking “wasn’t it misfortunate I went?”. The Kennedys had known Daniel as a diligent, hard-working man and considered him a good friend. They left and promised to return to see Daniel again soon. On Monday night Daniel took a turn for the worst and suffered great pain before succumbing to his injuries around 10am. His boss Martin remarked that “he was the most inoffensive man I ever knew”.

Daniel was buried with his mother on the Thursday in Glasnevin Cemetery and 2016 GAA Uachtarán, Aogán Ó Feargháil unveiled a headstone in his memory.

Enda O’Sullivan

Secretary, Tipperary Bloody Sunday Commemoration Committee