Dublin Bay North Time 4 Unity

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Today is the 77th anniversary of the hanging of Charlie Kerins, the Boy from Tralee. The De Valera government sent for an English hangman called Albert Pierrepoint to do the dirty deed in Mountjoy Jail. Charlie was 26 years old and the Chief of Staff of the IRA. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Detective Dinny O’Brien in Dublin. Even by the standards of the day, the evidence was flimsy. There was a public outcry. The irony of another Irish Republican being hung by an English hangman, paid for by an Irish government that prided itself on its Republican past, was not lost on the people. Despite numerous pleas and petitions for clemency, Dev wouldn’t budge. Charlie was buried in Mountjoy prison yard. Nearby was another Kerry man, Maurice O’Neill, executed by firing squad in 1942. Both were exhumed in 1948 and returned to the Kingdom. Charlie now lies in Rath cemetery Tralee. RIP Charlie Kerins

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