Fallen heroes remembered in Glenbrohane  By Matt O’Callaghan

John Murphy speaking at Murphy monument site with volunteers group, Morgan Murphy (MC for the day) and Fr Joe Tynan are to the forefront of the photograph

Two local men who laid down their lives for the cause of Irish Freedom were remembered at a Mass and unveiling ceremony in Glenbrohane last Sunday.
New Year’s Day 2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the killing by the Crown forces of two local freedom fighters, Thomas Murphy, Ballylanders and David Tobin, Glenbrohane.
A special Mass was celebrated in St Patrick’s Church by Rev Fr. Joe Tynan, P.P. last Sunday afternoon before plaques were unveiled at the spots where the men fell almost 101 years ago.
The two young men made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for the freedom that we enjoy in the Republic of Ireland today and for this they should never be forgotten.
It is another of the many shameless and horrendous crimes committed by the Tans and the Military against the Irish people.
After spending the night at Mrs. Barry’s safe house in Cloghast, David Tobin and Thomas Murphy attended morning Mass at St Patrick’s Church Glenbrohane nestled in the shadow of Sliabh Ri. They continued to Ballinalacken to pay a visit to David’s mother. Little did they know that the meal which was prepared for them would be their last bite before they paid the ultimate price for Irish Freedom.
According to David’s brother, Ned, the two young men were spotted by an informer while at Mass that morning and word was sent of the men’s whereabouts to the RIC barracks most likely in Galbally. The Machine Gun Corp, led by Lieutenant Keller, was dispatched from Kilmallock. This raiding party stopped the lorry some distance from Tobin’s house and sent some marksmen ahead to outflank the boys from the high point at the rear, in the likelihood of an attempted escape towards the mountain. Once the marksmen were close to being in position Lieutenant Keller proceeded towards Tobin’s Forge in Ballinalacken.
David and Tom heard the lorry of Tans and Military which was descending on their location from the direction of Maguire’s Cross (Griston) to the south side of our house. They left the house and went towards the hill at the back and took cover at a cross fence. In the first exchange of shots my brother David fell dead. Tom Murphy got away for about a distance of about a quarter mile, but the two soldiers who had outflanked him were now above him with others coming on behind firing as they came. The lorry itself with the rest of the party had proceeded along the road to Sheahan’s Cross.”
Next morning Sunday the military returned to the area in force. It was this force of military from whom Tom Howard and Maurice Meade had the narrow escape on their way to Mass in Glenbrohane. On that Sunday morning they found David’s body and took it to Kilmallock to where Tom Murphy’s body had been taken earlier.
A Military Court of Inquiry was held in Kilmallock on the 3rd January 1921 which concluded that both men died from ‘shot or shots fired by member or members of the Crown forces in execution of their duties.
On the Death Certificates, it indicated that David Tobin had suffered a gunshot wound to his chest after which he survived for about half an hour.
Tom Murphy it indicated received a gunshot wound on his left side after which he survived for 12 to 18 hours before dying for the cause of Irish Freedom.
Family and friends of the families attended the Mass on Sunday and were present for the unveiling ceremonies of the plaques by family members on the spots where the brave men paid the ultimate sacrifice.