DENIS ‘DENNY’ HAYES OF DINGER’S HILL, BALLYWILLIAM, C.1920S

VOLUNTEER DENIS ‘DENNY’ HAYES OF DINGER’S HILL, BALLYWILLIAM WAS ONE OF A FAMILY OF TEN, EIGHT GIRLS AND ONE BOY; DENNY JOINED THE VOLUNTEERS WHEN HE WAS A TEENAGER DURING THE BLACK AND TAN WAR. HE TOOK PART IN NUMEROUS AMBUSHES AND WAS VERY ACTIVE IN NORTH TIPPERARY AND EAST LIMERICK. DENNY WAS A MEMBER OF THE FLYING COLUMN THAT TOOK PART IN THE MODREENY AMBUSH IN TIPPERARY AND THE KILDORRERY AMBUSH IN EAST LIMERICK. DURING THE LATTER, HIS COMRADE PAT STARR OF NENAGH WAS MORTALLY WOUNDED. DENNY’S FAMILY HOME WAS BURNED BY THE BLACK AND TANS IN RETALIATION FOR THE EXECUTION OF A MEMBER OF THE RIC A WEEK EARLIER. ON SUNDAY NIGHT, 24TH OF MAY 1924, DENNY WAS SEEN TRAVELLING THROUGH NENAGH ON HIS MOTORCYCLE TO ATTEND A DANCE AT CASEY’S CROSS. LATER THAT EVENING, SEVERAL CIVIC GUARDS AND TWENTY UNIFORMED FREE STATE SOLDIERS PROCEEDED TO THE SAME VENUE, KNOWING HE WAS THERE. AS DENNY WAS LEAVING AT 12.30 AM, HE NOTICED THE STRONG MILITARY PRESENCE AND ATTEMPTED TO GET TO HIS MOTORCYCLE BUT WAS SHOT THROUGH THE HEART FROM BEHIND. DENNY’S REMAINS WERE REFUSED ENTRY TO BALLYWILLIAM CHURCH, AND HE IS BURIED IN BURGESS GRAVEYARD.

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