Kennedy Home Shot-At Because Son Joined The Dublin Police

11th May 1920, Millstreet, Cork: As the IRA’s campaign against the RIC escalates, policemen’s families become increasingly easy targets. In Millstreet, the home of John Kennedy, an elderly ex-RIC man, is shot at. Kennedy’s son, John, had recently joined the Dublin Metropolitan Police”

The shots were likely more intimidatory in nature as opposed to attempted murder, and we might never know what exactly happened! The boycott of police was coming into its height at the time, and anything to ward off Irish men from joining the police was carried out. It didn’t drive out the family though, as they lived here for at least another ten years … but who were the Kennedys? Below, we try to explain where they came from and and what happened to them:


John Kennedy and his wife Bridget were originally from Dingle, both were born in the late 1850’s. He served as a constable in the Royal Irish Constabulary in Galway for 31 years. They married in 1890 and spent the next 17 years at Craughwell in Galway, where their family were born and grew up. They returned to Tralee in 1907, and in 1912 they moved to Dooneen here in Millstreet where they lived until at least 1930, when John passed in Millstreet Hospital. John was 63 at the time of the attack, maybe that was elderly back then!

The younger John Kennedy (John T) was born in Craughwell in 1900 where he grew up. He lived in Millstreet from 1912 and joined the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) in January 1920. He gave his occupation as a Railway Clerk and his residence as Millstreet (possibly a clerk at the railway station beside his home). He stayed in the DMP until April 1924 when he was pensioned off. After that he ended up in Argentina. He sailed to New York from Buenos Aires in 1926, and a few years later was working as a clerk in San Francisco. We think he returned home to Ireland at the end of the 1930’s, and that he passed away at his mother’s home place in Dingle in 1967.

(We’d like to hear if anyone knows how long the Kennedy’s stayed after John died in 1930, as we have no trace of them locally after that)


Notes on the Family

Marriage of John Kennedy and Bridget Lynch on July 13th 1890, by Daniel J Sullivan P.P at Dingle Church; He a policeman of Peter’s Well (?Craughwell?) Co. Galway, a son of Timothy Kennedy and Ellen Murphy, a farmer; she a spinster from Ballinassig, daughter of Patrick Lynch and Ellen Murphy, a farmer; in the presence of Timothy Kennedy, and John McKenna [civil] [parish]
Ellen Murphy is the name of the two mothers???? unlikely, but possible.


John Kennedy (1856-1930)
R.I.C. 1875-1907

(This looks like John Kennedy Sr. Nothing else comes even close. The problem being that the mothers name is different to the marriage in 1890, but I think that is a mistake)

Service Record:
First name(s) Jno
Last name Kennedy
Age 18
Religion Roman Catholic
Service number 41499
Appointment date 06 Sep 1875
Service ended date 17 Mar 1907
Marriage 30 Jul 1890
Wife’s county Kerry
Reccomended by: I.J. Armstrong
Occupation: farmer
Service Counties: Galway E.R. from 29th Sept 1976
Two marks of Distinction 29/6/1887 & 1903
One note of punishment 2/8/91

Men leaving the force 1903-1920
John Kennedy (Galway E.R) retired at the age of 49 after 31 years and 6 months in the force. 25 year+ service [25 years]

Index of Subscribers to Pension Fund
Police Force No: 41499
Estmdt No: 4667
Rank: Constable
Name: Kennedy John,
Address: Doomanns, Mill St. Co. Cork  (looks very much like Dooneen)

Constablulary Force Fund
John Kennedy #41499
Rank: Constable
In force: 31yrs 6mo 11days
On Pension: 23yrs 22days
Award to widow on his death: £107-6-5
Payment ordered: 26/Aug/1930

Pension Ledgers: His pension started on March 17th 1907 – pension paid initially in Tralee (1908) and later in Macroom (starting from 20th October 1912) (1915-16)(1919)

Death of John Kennedy at Millstreet Hospital on April 7th 1930, aged 73 years; married; Police Pensioner; a Police Pensioner of Pyloric Stricture 3 months


Bridget Lynch (1859-1930+)
John’s wife


Marriage 1890 in Dingle (listed above), and moved to Craughwell, Co. Galway soon after.
Lived in Craughwell until 1909
Lived at Chapel Lane, Tralee until 1912 until they moved to Millstreet.
In Millstreet until 1930 or after.
No sign of her after that 🙁


The eight children of John and Bridget:

 1. Mary Anne (1891-)

Birth of Mary Anne Kennedy on November 10th 1891 at Ballinassig, Dingle Co. Kerry to Bridget (Lynch) and John Kennedy, constable RIC of Craughwell, Co. Galway

 2. Ellie (1892-)

Birth of Ellen Kennedy on December 19th 1892 at Craughwell to Bridget (Lynch) and John Kennedy, constable RIC

Called Nellie in the 1911 census.

 3. Agnes (1895-)

Birth of Agnes Kennedy at Craughwell on January 23rd 1895, to Bridget (Lynch) and John Kennedy, Constable RIC, of Craughwell

Agnes (19) and her sister Catherine (17), both domestic servants and giving their addresses as Millstreet, left Queenstown  on September 23rd 1914, on board the SS Arabic, arriving in Boston on September 30th 1914. Daughters of John, Aunt Mrs May Donoghue, 441 Brovistine(??) Avenue, Springfield. 5’3″, 5’4″ – dark hair, dark skin, grey eyes. [manifest]

In 1920 she was a maid at Boston Children’s Hospital

Agnes Bridget Kennedy (born Jan 22nd 1895 in Galway) applied for Naturalization in 1924 – 40 alpine Street Sommerville, MA, and got in in May 1925. living in California?

 4. Catherine (1897-)

Birth of Catherine Kennedy on February 8th 1897 at Craughwell to Bridget (Lynch) and John Kennedy, constable RIC

Emigrated to Boston in 1914 with Agnes  (details above)

TODO: what happened to Catherine?

 5. Alice (1898-1900)

Birth of Alice Teresa Kennedy on October 29th 1898 at Craughwell to Bridget (Lynch) and John Kennedy, constable RIC

Death of Alice Teresa Kennedy of Craughwell on March 14th 1900; 16 months; child of constable John Kennedy; probably whooping cough 3 days

 6. John T (1900-)

Birth of John Kennedy at Craughwell on August 22nd 1900, to Bridget (Lynch) and John Kennedy, Constable RIC, of Craughwell

He joined the Dublin Metropolitan police in 1920 which led to the attack on his father a few months later.

Dublin Metropolitan Police Service Record:
Name: John T Kennedy
Born: 22/08/1900
Height: 5′ 11 5/8″
Occupation: Railway Clerk
Residence: Millstreet, Co.Cork
Approved by: M. Mulvihill J.P.
Service: Depot: 9/1/20; B: 27/3/20; C:24/12/20; T: 18/4/22; A: 15/2/24
Pensioned: 1/4/1924
Good Service Pay: about £5 per year from 1939 until 1945
Warrant number 11533 (this is in the transcript only)
[Dublin Metropolitan Police General Register 1837-1925, page 231] [transcript]

Arrived into New York: John Kennedy, aged 25, born in Craughwell, Co. Galway, was scheduled to leave Buenos Aires on September 13th 1926 aboard the S.S. Vestris. The ship arrived into New York on on Oct 7th 1926

Naturalization Papers (New York 2nd Sept 1927):
Name: John Kennedy
Birth: 22 Aug 1900, Co. Galway, Ireland
Description: white, fair complexion, 6’0″, 170lbs, dark brown hair, blue eyes.
Occupation: Clerk
Residence: 620 W. 134th St, NY
Arrived into New York on the S.S. Vestris from Buenos Aires, Argentina on Oct 7th 1926 [2]

1930 census: John T Kennedy, 29 yrs, single
A lodger at 1036 Ellis Street, San Francisco
Arrived: 1926, a desk clerk at a Club

We lose track of him after that time.

But, seeing as his Good Service payments (from his DMP record) restarted in 1939, it is possible that he returned to Ireland at that time.

I wonder if he returned to Dingle in later life to his mother’s homeplace in Ballinassig, just outside Dingle:
Death of John Kennedy on December 27th 1967 at Dingle Hospital; if Ballinasaig, Dingle; 67 years; single; labourer; from Endocarditis & myscorditis.

 7. Veronica (1902-)

Birth of VERONICA KENNEDY on 04 May 1902 at Craughwell to Bridget (Lynch) and John Kennedy, Constable RIC

Marriage of Michael Keogh and Veronica Kennedy on September 19th 1936 at Fairview Church, Dublin; He a Conpositor of 48 Citric Road/Mt C.Rd, son of John Keogh a Litographer; she of 13 Lomond Avenue, Fairview, daughter of John Kennedy, ex. RIC; in the presence of Delia O’Mahony and John Keogh.

 8. Delia (1903-1978)

Birth of Delia Anne Kennedy on September 11th 1903 at John Street, Dingle, Co. Kerry to Bridget (Lynch) and John Kennedy, constable RIC of Claughwell, Co. Galway. Mary Anne Kennedy (12 yr old sister) present at birth.

Marriage of Lawrence O’Mahoney and Delia Anne Kennedy at the Church of St. Paul, Arran Quay, Dublin on October 12th 1929; He a Commercial traveller of Doneen, Millstreet, son of William O’Mahoney, a Sergeant R.I.C.; She a nurse of 88 Ranelagh Road, Dublin, daughter of James Kennedy, sergeant R.I.C.; in the presence of James O’Connor and Vera Kennedy, sergeant R.I.C.
James is down as the father … I wonder if he went by James as a pseudo name after the troubles? seeing as Vera and Delia were bridesmaids at each other’s wedding. 

TODO: who is the Lawrence O’Mahoney … and add him to the R.I.C. list?
William was born in 1900 in Waterford City to William Mahony (Sergeant RIC) and Mary Cheevers… so what took him to Dooneen near Millstreet? [parents marriage]. Dooneen is where Delia’s father (John Kennedy) lived from 1912-1930. Why did Lawrence give this address?

Lawrence’s father retired in 1909 to Portlaw / Kilmacthomas (1916 pension)
Family in the 1911 census

Delia apparently used the name Bridget Delia. She possibly took her mother’s name at some stage.  Lawrence used the name Renny. They lived Manchester [a], and they had a daughter Veronica (Von) Maria O’Mahoney (Sept 20th 1932, Manchester – June 1992, Lancashire), who herself married+.

Delia died in Bury in 1978: “O’Mahoney, Bridget Delia, born Sept 11 1903, died in Bury” (birth date is the same as above


1901 & 1911 Census

1901 census: Residents of a house 9 in Craughwell (Craughwell, Galway)

Surname Forename Age Sex Relation to head Religion
Kennedy Bridget 36 Female Head of Family Roman Catholic
Kennedy Mary Anne 9 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Kennedy Ellie 8 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Kennedy Agnes 6 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Kennedy Catherine 4 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Kennedy John T 7 months Male Son Roman Catholic

The father John was at Craughwell R.I.C. Station for the 1901 census:
1901 census: Residents of a house 3.1 in Craughwell (Craughwell, Galway)

Surname Forename Age Sex Relation to head Religion
Costelloe Michl 43 Male R Catholic
Claney Michl 32 Male Roman Catholic
Brien John 42 Male Roman Catholic
D E 32 Male Roman Catholic
K (Kennedy) J (John) 44 Male Born in Kerry Roman Catholic
K M 38 Male Roman Catholic
C T 22 Male Roman Catholic


1911 census: Residents of a house 4 in Chapel Lane (Tralee Urban (part of), Kerry)

Surname Forename Age Sex Relation to head Religion
Kennedy John 54 Male Head of Family Roman Catholic
Kennedy Bridget 52 Female Wife – married 20 years. 8 children 7 alive Roman Catholic
Kennedy Nellie 18 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Kennedy Agnes 16 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Kennedy John T 10 Male Son Roman Catholic
Kennedy Veronica 8 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Kennedy Delia 6 Female Daughter Roman Catholic

Catherine in the 1911 census is with a Sharpe family in O’Brien’s Bridge, listed as a visitor. She is actually visiting her aunt and cousins. The mother Catherine Sharpe (30) is young Catherine’s aunt (formerly Bridget’s sister – Catherine Lynch).


Further Questions:
Where in Dooneen did they live?
Are any of the descendants still here?
Does anyone remember the family



With thanks to 131 Weeks who brought this incident to our attention:


1 thought on “Kennedy Home Shot-At Because Son Joined The Dublin Police”

  1. My grandfather’s brother, Harry Kells DMP was murdered by Collin’s men on the way to work. This action allowed my grandfather to migrate to NZ in 1922 with four children my father being the eldest at eleven.

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