Monday, August 26, 2019
A view of Ballycastle in north Mayo.

Plans are being made to mark the centenary of the murder of RIC man, James Munnelly, who was a native of Ballycastle in north Mayo. Pic by Máirtín Flannery.

Next Thursday, August 26 marks the 99th anniversary of the shooting of a Ballycastle-born police officer in Co Tyrone.

Constable James Munnelly was killed in a village called Drumqui during the War of Independence.

A local police memorial group in Omagh plans to mark the centenary of the Mayo man’s death in August 2020 and is appealing to any of his Mayo descendants to make contact with them.

Michael Winters, who is part of the Omagh branch of the RUC GC Association, told theWestern People that the group seeks to commemorate those members of the force that died in the course of their duties.

They are interested in speaking to anyone that may have been a relative of James Munnelly from Ballycastle or anyone that can assist with the search for his relations.

They are also happy to hear from people with a general interest in James’ story.

James was born on March 5, 1890 to Thomas and Bridget (nee McLean) Munnelly.

He was baptised in the Catholic church in Ballycastle that same year with John and Bridget Murphy of Kilbride standing as his godparents.

Initially recorded as a farmer, he joined the Royal Irish Constabulary on July 1 in 1912 and was allocated as a Constable to Tyrone on January 14, 1913.

A single man, he died seven years later in an ambush during the War of Independence.

The Western People published an account of his death at the time.

You can read it in full in this week’s issue which is on sale now throughout the region or in our digital edition which you can access via the e-paper icon on the home page of our website –

If anyone can assist in tracing the Mayo relatives of James Munnelly they are asked to email Michael Winters at [email protected] or call him on 0044-7795152479.

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