Robert Howe Profile


Robert (Bob) HOWE [c.1862-1922]m. Catherine Anne FULLER b.26th June 1870

The Murder of Robert Howe, 27th April 1922.

Excert from: The I.R.A. and its enemies: violence and community in Cork, 1916-1923 By Peter Hart

The night before Bob Howes Murder
At one o'clock in the morning of 27 April 1922, James and Clarina Buttimer of Dunmanway were awakened by shouting and banging at their front door. When James, a retired draper, opened the door he was confronted by a group of agitated and armed men. 'What do you want, boys?' he asked. 'We want you, we want to talk to you.' 'Surely, you would not take an old man like him', responded Clarina, his wife. 'Go to bed, we don't want you!' And again, to James: 'Come out or we'll make you.' He refused. 'Surely, boys, you would not harm an old man like me?' The boys shot James Buttimer in the face as he stood in his doorway. He died at once, 'his brains and teeth blown out'. These anonymous men had already killed twice that night elsewhere along Main Street. Alice Gray, a neighbour of the Buttimers, was woken up at about the same time: There was knocking, thumping and shouting at the door. The door was burst in. Her husband [David, a chemist] went down and said 'Who is there? What do you want?' She then heard a shot and her husband falling. More shots were then fired, and she heard voices saying,'Take that, you Free Stater', several times. She did not come down, as she stayed with the children. When she went down later, her husband was dead. The body was lying on the doorstep, partly out.

Further down the road, Francis Fitzmaurice, an elderly solicitor and land agent, was riddled with bullets on his doorstep as his wife Elizabeth watched. His brother William barely escaped the same fate, as did William Jagoe, another draper, who had his windows shot out.

The killings continued the next night. First to be visited was the parish of Kinneigh, which lay to the east of Dunmanway along the Bandon valley. At 10.30, two men appeared at Robert Howe's door in Ballaghanure and demanded he harness a horse for them. When he refused, they followed him into his room and shot him twice. Next came his neighbour and fellow farmer, John Chinnery, who was ordered to harness a horse to a cart in the shed. While he was doing this, he was shot in the back. Both men were killed.

Over those two nights, ten men were brutally shot in the Dunmanway, Ballineen and Murragh areas.

For background information and debate on the motives for these killings, see:Wikipedia article - Dunmanway Killings