Rahilly, 10714 Pte Cornelius

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rahilly-isirh-armycon rahilly

Keogh has him as "Con O'Rahilly of Cork", of Royal Irish Regiment and later a lieutenant in the Old IRA. Previously a clerk on Casement's notes. He became a farmer in Cork on his return to Ireland. He wrote a full  account himself first published in the Kerryman in the 30s. And a large written memoir which has not yet been published

1895 Feb 14. He was born at home son of Mary Kelleher and Cornelius Rahilly. His mother Mary Kelleher was a domestic servant & the address was listed as Dooneen, Drishane, Millstreet, Co. Cork. He was baptised the following day. His grandparents were .

And the siblings were from from family records and an Ancestry tree

This is the Ancestry Tree which has Mortimer married to Mary Creedon. Interestingly the person who did the tree does not have Mary on it, but it is certainly the correct tree. One asks the question as to why Mary is not on the tree.

1901 census con rahillly

1901 census. This is him at Dooneen, Drishane. This has to be the correct family when one compares it with the family tree. The ages of Mortimer and Mary are wrong, but as he could not read, I can see how this error would have occurred. There is no sign though of a 6 year old Cornelius Kelleher/Rahilly. The house is still there & descendants living in it. The address is Liscreagh, Millstreet.

1911 census he is the above man at Liscreagh, Drishane, Cork. Mortimer's age is correct at 72 then, and Cornelius' age is correct too (this being the son, not the grandson of Mortimer). Again no 16 year old Cornelius Kelleher whom we are looking for

1913 From his service number he must have joined up in about May 1913.

1914 Aug 13. Arrives in France with Royal Irish Regiment, and was soon captured in the retreat from Mons. His battalion had retreated under the weight of the advancing Germans. After two days of retreating with little food nor water, pounded continually by German artillery, the next night their officer got them lost in the dark, and they woke the next morning looking down the wrong end of a German machine gun. He describes how the 15 of them captured were deliberately machine gunned by the Germans, and only 9 survived, including the officer. The Germans suspected them of using dumdum bullets and it took a great deal of negotiation by the officer to get their lives spared

Later that morning they were moved to a church with several hundred Scottish soldiers. They only spent a day in the church, and then a mixed group of around 1000 POWs started a march to Germany. Some prisoners died from stray bullets along the way. In villages buckets of water or wine were put out for them by the villagers, but they were too frightened that the drinks might be poisoned to drink them. They were emaciated from lack of food and only able to march a few kilometres per day, when they eventually reached a functioning railway line beyond Brussels. They were put into cattle cars. Along the way in one of these cars, a prisoners struck a guard, and evidently the whole car load of prisoners were marched outside and machine gunned. His time in Germany follows the rise and fall of the fortunes of the Irish Brigade in Germany

They eventually reached Sennelager. Here they slept on the dry ground in large tents. Guards amused themselves by making the prisoners stand up then lie don, and fire shots over them to ensure that the orders were carried out quickly enough. Wooden huts were soon erected, and pump holes bored for water. However not enough water was available and washing was problematic. But eventually baths and fumigators were installed with ample supplies of soap.

One day a German officer made a recruiting speech for an Irish Brigade, and the names of all Irish POWs were taken down However many English signed up too as the rewards looked interesting. A few days later they were transferred to Limburg Camp. They march about a mile through cobbled streets from the station to the camp. Limburg was composed of long lines of huts in neat rows. There was barbed wire to a height of 8 or 9 feet round the camp, with an additional electrified death-wire.

Casement made a recruiting speech in February 1915. In spite of his eloquence only the 56 joined. They were transferred to an empty hut, and had permission to walk out of camp and see the Rhineland. The German, Captain Boehn, often accompanied them. They would walk down to the river and watch the boats sailing up and down. He never saw Capt Boehm after that.

They soon moved to Zossen Camp in July 1915, and when they arrived their wooden barracks had not yet been constructed and they were housed in a barracks at Zossen Halbmondlager, a camp mainly for Asian prisoners a few miles from Zossen itself. Halbmondlager was itself a propaganda camp Halbmondlager (Crescent Moon Prison). Ghurkas, Sikhs, Muslims, Shakurs, and North Africans were among the approximately 3,400 POWs at this camp.The Germans constructed a model camp for these prisoners, including comfortable quarters, special kitchens and foods, and even a mosque (presented by the Kaiser).

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Mosque at Halbmondlager Camp

However a hut close to theirs had Gurkas and Hindus. And others with Arabs. There was a mosque in the camp for the muslims, who fasted during Ramadan. Rahilly certainly did not like this camp. "All over the camp the ugly sweaty smell of the east prevailed" and some of the other inmates danced themselves often into a frenzy. "The white protruding eyeballs of these semi-savages and their fantastic perambulations and knife gyrations hypnotised one into imagining that he witnessed some diabolical display of the nether regions"

They moved to the main Zossen Weinberg camp after a few weeks. No more men ever joined the Irish Brigade after the move to Zossen. A few days later they moved to their new hut, but found little room had been left for exercise Armed German guards paced up and down outside their wire.

At this stage their uniform arrived. Greenish grey in colour, with dark green cuffs and shoulder straps on which a shamrock was neatly worked with green cloth at the end of each strap and cuff. A narrow green stripe ran down the front of each tunic at the seam. The cap was peaked, green grey in colour like the tunic. The cap-badge was a harp. There was also a green, white and gold cockade worn on the cap. At that stage the brigade consisted of 2 warrant officers, eleven NCOs and 44 privates.

They had an hours German lessons each day. They also had Irish lessons from O'Toole, a Gaelic Leaguer who spared neither the men nor himself during their Irish hour. Daily drill was practiced with both German and English words of command. Scouting and signaling lectures were given by Sergeant Bailey. And there were singing lessons. The two warrant officers wore belts and swords

He saw Joe Plunkett during his visit to the camp. Then in Oct 1915, Capt Monteith arrived and his presence found them with a bit more freedom. They got more passes so they could visit the German canteen after hours. However their pay was so small that they could buy little other than the absolute necessities of life.

Then at last they saw proper training, and they were attached to 203 Brandenburger Regiment. Machine guns were issued to the brigade, plus a dozen German machine gunners and a German Lieutenant to train them.. They got on well with these men who were conscripts from the Rhineland, rather than Prussians. The machine guns were, of course, kept by the Germans when not being used for training.

This could be Rahilly in the photo of the POWs (left one is POW no28)

Christmas 1915 saw a concert, attended by German General Schneider and a few German soldiers from their machine gun section. The Brigade musician Greer, provided them with musical entertainment. Everybody joined in, and Sgt Major Keogh was on his best form and "though naturally rotund became more so to an alarming degree after midnight" Keogh never missed an opportunity for speechmaking and used this occasion to rally the men against the Saxon. .The evening ended quite early as the Germans only had short passes to be there.

At New Year a more serious event occurred. The Irish were visiting the German canteen, and apparently one of the "Prussians" referred to an Irishman as "Englander", the Irishman hit the German sergeant and a riot ensued. Keogh arrived and shot out the lights, but the fight continued long afterwards in the dark. The result was a large bill for damages, and all leave was stopped

There was also, at this time, a John McGoey, described by Rahilly as the "mystery man" who was sent to Ireland, caught by the British and executed in Peterhead Prison. The brigade men had no idea who McGoey was, the rumour being that he came from a civilian prison camp - he spoke with a Northern Ireland accent. McGoey is certainly a mystery man. There are no British records of such a man being executed, and there is a full list of spies available. My feeling is that he was a double agent, run by the British, and just disappeared back into British life.

1916 Jan. Casement realised that he was never going to get more men and that the ones he had could never make a fighting Brigade. So he asked for volunteers to fight against the Turks in Egypt. Rahilly was one of the 20 who declined to volunteer for this possibility. In the end nothing happened and no Irish ever went to Egypt.

Through the spring of 1916 rifle drill, machine gun drill and signaling practice continued. At the end of March Bailey and Monteith left for a special course in Berlin. They returned to Zossen briefly and in the second week of April the men saw Casement, Bailey and Monteith for the last time. As they were leaving Bailey asked Rahilly for one of his signaling flags, then ran after the other two and handed the flag to Monteith who proceeded to signal in morse the bizarre message "From the legions of the lost to the cohorts of the damned - goodbye" . This is interestingly, for a Irish message, the first line of Kipling's poem 'Gentlemen -Rankers', published in Barrack-Room Ballads, 1892: Kipling's Gentlemen-Rankers "To the legion of the lost ones, To the cohort of the damned". And a letter was handed to Keogh before they went which was later read to them in barracks, and it transferred their charge to T St John Gaffney

After Casement, Monteith and Bailey left, the Brigade continued with their training. However when news reached Germany that the Rising had failed, then the Brigade's rifles were taken away from them, they had no ammunition, and were confined to barracks in uniform. About 20 of the brigade now refused to drill under German supervision, even without arms. While some men marched, others stood still and refused to obey German orders. Von Schneider arrived with two dozen Landstrum guards. The Germans halted a few paces from the Irish, and were ordered to load their rifles. Von Schneider stated via an interpreter that they would be shot is they did not obey German orders (the men refusing included Rahilly). Somehow Von Schneider backed off ordering his guars to fire and went to phone Berlin for instructions. He must have been told that the Irish could only be commanded by Irish under the Casement agreement, and returned to the parade ground to reluctantly call off his firing squad.

danziz pow camps

Soon after this event they were moved to Danzig Camp in July 1916. Danzig was a large camp, of mostly Russian prisoners. In winter it was very cold. So hard was the frost round Danzig that Rahilly was able to walk on the sea ice, the ice cracked and he was left stranded on a large ice floe. He had to lie on the ice and paddle with his hands to get back to safety.

1917 Jan 10. They had a hut inspection one day from an American official, who they mistook for someone from Dublin, and gave him information about themselves that they should not have give. Soon after this the NCOs appear to have drawn up a black list of grumblers and men branded as English. And some days later a fully armed section of German troops entered the barracks, and the Irish Brigade NCOs seemed aware of what was happening. Nine or ten names were read out, and the men ordered to have their kit ready to leave in 5 minutes. They were then marched out of the camp under guard and into as Rahilly says "slavery", a punishment camp

Two months later five of these men returned, completely broken. They had been taken by road and rail for hours to a punishment camp at Quadsow. Their home was a hut sunk well into the ground, the walls were damp and they slept on the damp floor. They worked from dawn till dusk building up the banks of a nearby river. No solid food was issued, just hot drinks for dinner and lunch, and from this diet their flesh became bloated, so that "lf one placed one's finger on their bodies, the impression remained long after". They were beaten with the guards rifle buts and with the points of their bayonets.

The day they returned one of these men cut is own throat with a rusty razor. They got the man to a doctor, and although that saved his life, the man in fact lived a lingering death, eventually dying in autumn 1918 - this had to have been Peter Carr who died 15/9/1918 age 36, buried in Berlin SW Cemetery.

The episode effected the morale and the bearing of all the Brigade. They feared being removed to the punishment camp meant that few dared to speak to any of their comrades for fear of being denounced for some reason. "Often men would not speak a word during the day, but sat watching their comrades across the room, always watching each other, always each other for none knew who the informers were. " They formed their own secret society to counter the threat of informers and from this they sent word to one of the sergeants of the danger of the whole brigade breaking down under the threat of informers and Quadsow. For some reason this solved the problem, and they were able to talk freely again without the punishment camp hanging over them.

1917 Spring. And soon the prospect of being allowed out of the prison camp at Danzig brought some cheerfulness to the men. They were to be granted the freedom to work anywhere in Danzig Command. So when a German farmer came looking for Russian POW to work for him, Rahilly volunteered, thinking that "anything would be better than the his life of "utter uselessness and the camp with its sweaty Eastern stinks". He went by train the 20 miles out of Danzig to the farm, while the farmer was disconcertingly armed with a shotgun on his shoulder and a revolver in his belt. The documents that the farmer had on Rahilly from the camp certainly stated that Rahilly was Russian, and Rahilly was not able to convince the man that he was in fact Irish.

On the farm he was up at dawn, breakfasted on Barley, bread, milk and coffee. He helped with the cows, planted potatoes, mowed corn. He slept in the loft over the kitchen among old sacks and straw. As the weather got warmer, earwigs became a problem for Rahilly - " large brown earwigs as large a small lizards and with innumerable legs raced up and down by back" "I killed the things in their hundreds, but the wretched things came in their thousands" He was unable to sort the problem out wit the farmer, so arranged to go to Danzig in to get them to sort it.

1917 autumn. He had an interview with the camp commandant, and explained that he would not return to the farmer, and wanted to remain in the camp for a while. After that he had great difficulty actually getting into the camp, but once in, found on four or five men in the brigade hut. The rest were out working in the area. He met O'Toole who had found work in the town. But O'Toole became sick at that point and was taken to hospital. Whilst Rahilly was visiting O'Toole in hospital, he was arrested by a detective on suspicion of being a deserter. But after a brief interrogation, Rahilly was released.

He then worked out of Stolp in the winter of 1917/1918, employed by the Uberland Centrale Co to fix high tension cables brought down by the winter storms. He was the only Irishman employed on this work, which required trekking through deep snow for weeks on end. They would leave Stolp on Monday with enough food for a week, work through the week on the repairs, then take the train back to Stolp on Saturday evening for their pay and the next weeks instructions.

1918 early spring. He then got a job at a paper mill, stoking the fires. The mill was at Ratsdamnitz, a village beyond Dirschau (modern Tczew). But soon got a letter from O'Toole, who had by now left hospital, and was at Stolp ( modern Slupsk). This was the only town in Germany that Rahilly really liked, and it was the home town of the Irish Brigade. For example in April 1918 Keogh was working at the Flying Corps aerodrome workshops at Stolp. The people of Stolp were genuine democrats, they were friendly towards the Irish and their cause and offered them jobs "Even the pretty Stolp madchens made love to us on every possible occasion".

Back at Stolp he got a job at a saw, on which he cut boards to a given design "Anything to kill time as work came easy to me". O'Toole was called back to Berlin for a special course of training in explosives. O'Toole told him to hold himself in readiness for a call to Berlin, but the call only came months later, in early October 1918. A man from the German Foreign Office took him to Berlin, where they were at Anhalter Station by O'Toole, who took them to the office to go through the necessary formalities. The following day O'Toole showed him round Berlin, which struck Rahilly as being exceptionally clean - "war might have been as distant as the moon, so little did we see of its effects". O'Toole also found him rooms

He got his papers a few days later, made in the name of Hans Warren. O'Toole's cover name was Herr Thomas, and they were ordered only to call each other my their new names in future. Astonishingly his new identity card gave him powers to arrest people, and he had a special number. O'Toole told him to wait further instructions, and report every day to the Foreign Office at 9am. This he did, waited a few minutes and left. O'Toole was nowhere to be seen on these morning visits. On one occasion he changed his rooms to better ones in another part of the city, and when he reported the change the next morning at the Foreign Office, they already knew, and admonished him for not informing them in advance. He believed they were shadowing him to have known this.

He and O'Toole had dinner some evenings at their department chief's house, Herr Kellerman, whose wife was American. So they sometimes had other foreign guests like Frau Gabish, "a staunch friend of Ireland" (she was the American born wife of a German officer) , and Col Emerson of the American Army. On another occasion Rahilly was invited alone, and asked if he had seen O'Toole, whom indeed he had not seen for eight or nine days. After two days searching Rahilly eventually found O'Toole, and was told by him what was really going on. After that he had several more weeks of inaction, as snow arrived to the streets of Berlin. Always expecting the call to return to Ireland, but never getting it

1918 Nov the end of the war. And in Berlin food was difficult to come by. O'Toole dispatched Rahilly to Danzig to check on what was happening with the men of the Irish Brigade there. He took the ferry across from Danzig to Troyl, and entered the camp. However there were only five or six men in the Irish hut. He was told that the others were in Danzig with the soldiers council, and that provision had already been made to issue the Casement men with German passes. The appearance of the men was dismal, their outlook absolutely hopeless. After picking up one of these Irishmen's passports himself, he exited the camp with some difficulty. The guards at first refused to recognise his Foreign Office papers.

Back in Berlin he noticed new officials occupying departments of state, and Soldier's and People's Councils were set up. There was no strong government. O'Toole, Rahilly and Burke were sent to "preach socialism to various camps where British prisoners were interned. We had no special training in Marxism, but we did our best to earn our money". His first speech was on The Brotherhood of Man, telling the British that all workers should unite in peace and no longer be the hired assassins of the monied classes - he says it was well received by most of the Tommies, who were also surprised that a German like him could speak such good English. He progressed through a number of camps with such speeches. Christmas came and went joylessly for him. Food was scarce, milk and beef were unobtainable, with only horseflesh to be procured if you wanted to eat meat.

When he returned to Berlin, he found that the left wing mobs were controlling the streets. There were large posters everywhere with messages like "Back to the land", "Revolution means anarchy and hunger". His job was to count these posters. The mobs roamed the streets, looting restaurants, waylaying people in the street who looked rich and robbing them. In the Foreign Office one day he forgot to remove his hat and bow to the flag when a mob was passing, he had to grovel and apologise to the crowd to defuse the situation. The communist Spartacist Uprising took place from January 5 to January 12, 1919. The leaders of the left wing parties soon decided to support the actions of the workers. They appealed for a general strike in Berlin on January 7, which was followed by about 500,000 people, who surged into downtown Berlin on that weekend. In the following two days, however, the strike leadership, the so-called Revolution Committee, was not able to agree on how to proceed. Some called for armed insurgency, others advocated deliberations with Ebert. The workers still squatting in the buildings obtained weapons. However Ebert ordered the Freikorps to attack the workers. The former soldiers still had weapons and military equipment from World War I, which gave them a formidable advantage. They quickly re-conquered the blocked streets and buildings; many of the workers surrendered. Around 100 civilians and 17 Freikorps soldiers died during the fighting.

1919 Jan 15. As the speech making to British POWs had stopped, he was at a loose end again and would walk the streets of Berlin into the night. One night he saw shots fired at Liebknect and Rosa Luxemburg , and read the next day that their dismembered bodies had been flung into the canal. Luxemburg and Liebknecht were captured on January 15, 1919, by the Freikorps' Garde-Kavallerie-Sch√ľtzendivision shot in captivity and their bodies disposed of in the canal.It does date the event in Rahilly's narrative.

O'Toole now reappeared and ordered Rahilly to Munich where a number of the Irish Brigade were working and hiding from the British. The plan was now to get Rahilly back to Ireland as a returned prisoner of war, so that he could then set up a communication with O'Toole in Germany via invisible ink. By going to Munich he could get volunteers from the Irish Brigade to return to Ireland with him, hence his presence was not thought to have been as noticeable.

1919 February. The train he was aboard covering the 350 miles from Berlin to Munich got stuck in a blizzard, but was dug out and eventually reached Munich the next morning after a 14 hour journey. Bavaria had been declared a "free state" on the armistice in November 1918, with Eisner as minister-president. However Eisner lost the elections in February 1919 and decided to resign from office. On 21 February 1919, as he was on his way to parliament to announce his resignation to the Bavarian Parliament, when he was shot by a right wing nationalist. Eisner's death resulted in a wave of lawlessness, and the communists seized power, with a the result that on 6 April 1919, a Soviet Republic was formally proclaimed. Rahilly seems to have been in and out of Munich before Eisner's assassination, as he does not mention the unrest.

He knocked on doors to find lodging and obtained a room in a quiet part of the city owned by a "kindly looking, grey old Frau". She offered him a room shared with another man, and separated by a curtain from the chap to give each some privacy. He feel asleep quickly, and on waking the next morning, snow was still falling. He pulled the curtain aside to ask his room mate directions in the city, but to his consternation, found that the man was dead. Discretion being the better part of valour, he quickly left, in case the police should want to question him about the man's death.

Rahilly's first task was to visit Mr St.John Gaffney, whom Casement had asked to look after the men of the Irish Brigade. Meade wanted to know whether the Germans would honour Article 9 of Casements accord with Germany, which guaranteed the Irish Brigade men transport to the USA if Germany lost the war. Rahilly reasoned that it would be safer for the Irish Brigade men to get back to Ireland via the USA than by posing as genuine returning POWs and having to land in England. However Gaffney told him that Article 9 would not be honoured by Germany. Rahilly and the others in the Irish Brigade were running out of money, and could not afford to travel back via neutral countries. So the only option on getting back to Ireland was to return as POWs and hope for the best. He visited six or seven of Irish Brigade men in Munich - McDonagh records seeing him. Some were willing to take the risk of returning to Ireland as POWs, others decided to stay in Munich and see what happened. Only one man, un-named, mistrusted Rahilly and asked Rahilly to consult with a Dr Collins, who Rahilly did not know, before proceeding further. He also had the problem of locating other Irish Brigade men working outside the city and whose false German names he did not know.

At this point bureaucracy caught up with him, and he received a summons to appear before a magistrate in the Fifth Police District, and unfortunately he had no papers as he had left them in Berlin. Here he was arrested and charged with being a spy. His head was shaved, and fingerprints taken. His interrogation included being shown a newly dug grave into which he would be interred unless he co-operated with his inquisitors. At this point he remembered a special phone number he had been given to a "high official" in Berlin, and got the Munich police to call that number, and after he gave the special code word on the phone, all suddenly changed and he was released with apologies.

The unwelcome attention that he had received meant that his mission in Munich was no longer "secret", and he returned to Berlin the next day and made a hurried report in the Foreign Office about what had happened to him in Munich. Berlin was now in complete anarchy. Artillery fired back and forth continuously, and street battles took place everywhere. One day he found himself marooned near the Brandenburger Tor (before Feb 4, from Princess Blucher's book) on Unter den Linden, between lightly armed Communist troops on one side and government men holding a well fortified position with a machine gun on the other side. He succeeded to convince the communists they did not have a chance and that they should withdraw, and to convince the government men not to machine the communists while they were withdrawing.

O'Toole now disappeared again without trace for a few days, and reappeared in Rahilly's room early one morning. They both ended up in a German Secret Service house, where O'Toole was sentenced to death for treason, that is for contacting the Allied Prisoners Repatriation Committee. Rahilly and O'Toole narrowly escaped with their lives by quickly exiting the room and locking their accusers in and getting away into the street. When Rahilly eventually got back to is room there was a message to dine with his department chief, Kellermann that night. He found himself being followed and only managed to break his tail by using the subterfuge of running to catch a departing tram, and the tail not being able to get the tram.

He found Burke at the chief's house . Burke did not stay long as he had joined the republican army, and was on duty that night. Rahilly never did find out why Burke was there, nor did he ever see Burke again. The next night Rahilly was summoned again to the chief's house and quizzed about O'Toole's whereabouts. Whilst Rahilly was denying knowledge of where to find O'Toole, a heavily disguised O'Toole walked in to the room. The chief was all for phoning the guards to arrest O'Toole, but he convinced the chief that his contact with the British was purely for the furtherance of Ireland's cause. A day or so later O'Toole took him to the Foreign Office, where they handed in their German passports and asked for a safe conduct to the Dutch frontier.

A German clerk, Spindler, accompanied them to the border and produced the passes to get them past the German patrols, and once over they did not meet any Dutch patrols. Once in Holland they dropped their German identities, and reverted to their correct names and they conversed in English. Eventually they were arrested by Dutch border guards and taken to a quarantine station for the next two weeks, where they had to supply their own food.. without funds they had to live on hard rye bread and coffee. O'Toole had false teeth and could not chew the hard bread, Rahilly cracked two of his own teeth in it. They were then sent to Bergen am Meer in Northern Holland. Here they found an intelligent, well educated, polyglot group of internees. And after two weeks there, Rahilly says it was Feb 1919, and he was despairing of anything happening, so he forced the issue by writing to the British authorities in the Hague, telling them that he was a British deserter wanting to return to his regiment - a common enough occurrence in Holland at that time. A day or so later a letter came back from the British instructing him to report to their offices. When O'Toole saw the letter he became very excited, more excited tan Rahilly had ever seen him before. Rahilly was instructed to report to Griffith or any other leader, and given a sketch map of the location of the pub where the IRB leadership met.

A Dutch policeman escorted him from the camp via Rotterdam to the Hague, and the British Embassy. At a swift interrogation there Rahilly confessed he was one of Casements men, and they did not seem to worry, as they told him that presented no problems now that the war was over - deserters in the field of battle were more of a concern to them. Then a guard of six fully armed soldiers appeared to escort him to a boat only a few hundred yards away that was about to leave for England. It was a small boat called the "Cailin Ban" crewed by six to eight Irishman and carrying about a dozen soldiers. His escort encouraged him to jump overboard to avoid being hung in Britain, but he declined to carry out their suggestion. The boat took him to Harwich, and from there he was conveyed to a "wretched, centauries old, decaying fortress. His cell was partly underground and was dark and damp. Slime dripped from the wall onto the earthen floor on which lay my bed of two blankets" Then after some days he was marched before an officer who read him a telegram saying that Casement men were not to be proceeded against, and that he was free. He went to London and discovered that the police were following him, looking for clues to a "German Plot". So he quickly went on to Dublin, there a policeman stopped him off the boat and advised him not to go to Dublin, and to head south. . He went to Cork and reported to the local IRA officer, Commandant C J Meany, No1 Battalion, No 4 Brigade. Rahilly was sworn in as a Lieutenant of the IRA and "was kept busy from 1919 to 1923"

O'Toole's account of Rahilly's movements after the Armistice are substatially similar to Rahilly's own account.


1919 Apr. It is difficult to be precise with the date of his repatriation, but it appears to have been in April 1919 from his memoirs. And he must have arrived back in Ireland in May

1926 He married and had two children Sean (b1926 and father of Mary O'Rahilly Meade ) and (now deceased) Mary (mother of Eileen Cashman), a third child, a daughter died as a child. Possible marriage is Name: Cornelius Rahilly, Registration District: Kanturk : Jan - Mar 1926 Volume: 5 Page: 145

1934 Sep Out of the blue he got a letter form O'Toole, whom he had not seen since leaving Bergan. It gave news of of O'Toole's further adventures in Germany and the fact the arrived back in Ireland the day of Cathal Brugha's funeral - 11 July 1922. O'Toole died in 1936 and they never did meet again

1936 His Kerryman articles in 1936 are signed with an address of Rathcoole, Banteer, Cork.

1973 Oct 8 he passed away. His wife was Mary Murphy. A new headstone put up a few years ago & they have written on it Lieut. 1st Battalion Cork No 4 Brigade, & member signal section Casements Brigade Germany.

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