James Teehan and his brother John lived and worked in their pub on Green Street, Dublin. At the age of 26, at approximately 2.30pm on November 21st, 1921 James left his home and travelled to Croke Park. A challenge match has been organised as a fundraiser for the Republican Prisoners Dependents Fund. The match was to be played between Tipperary and Dublin.
Originally from Boulea, Ballingarry, Co. Tipperary James was keen to support his home County. The game scheduled to begin at 2.45pm was delayed to a 3.15pm throw-in due to crowd congestion. Despite tension and fears of reprisals for earlier shootings between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the British Intelligence Network in Dublin a crowd of nearly 10,000 gathered to watch the game.
Eye witness accounts report that five minutes into the game a plane flying overhead released a red flare. This was a signal to the combined forces of the Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C.), Auxiliary Police and the Military who stormed Croke Park.
In the ensuing scramble to escape and the indeterminate firing into the crowd by the storming forces James headed to the exit in the northeastern corner of the park. He became overwhelmed by the crowd who had been stopped from leaving.
Fourteen spectators, including 3 schoolboys, dies on November 21st. James was one of the seven taken to Jervis Street Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. He was identified by his brother, John, at the hospital, ‘‘the deceased was my brother; he was about 26 years of age, he lived with me and had a licenced house. I saw my brother about 2.30 pm on Sunday at home. I have seen the body and recognise it’’
His cause of death was recorded as “shock and heart failure during a raid by the forces of the Crown”. His death was registered on January 3 1921 after a Military Court of Enquiry held from November 23 to December 7 1920. The Irish Independent, on Monday November 22 reported James had been shot behind his left ear suffering an instantaneous death.
James was buried in Ballinalacken Cemetery, Glengoole, Tipperary.
The day and events of November 21 1921 have become known has Bloody Sunday and the darkest day in GAA history as well as one of most infamous days in the War of Independence.
Between sixty and a hundred people are reported to have been injured while fourteen lost their lives.
The fourteen spectators killed at Croke Park were
Jane Boyle (26) Dublin
James Burke (44) Dublin
Daniel Carroll (30) Tipperary
Michael Feery (30) Dublin
Michael Hogan (24) Tipperary
Tom Hogan (19) Limerick
James Mathews (48) Dublin
Patrick O Dowd (57) Dublin
James Teehan (24) Tipperary
Joe Traynor (25) Dublin
Jerome O Leary (10) Dublin
William (Perry) Robinson (11) Dublin
John William Scott (14) Dublin
Foley, M. 2014. The Bloodied Field, O Brien Press, Dublin