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Who killed Noel Lemass?


El Libre

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Apr 28, 2009
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In the Irish Mail on Sunday of 3rd October, Dermot Bolger's review of Damian Corless's Irish Hospitals Sweeptstakes contains some remarkable claims. Joe McGrath, one of the leading lights of the Sweepstakes racket, as is well known, is also stated to have been 'Michael Collins's former enforcer and torturer'. More than that, Bolger alleges that Seán Lemass's brother Noel 'was tortured and murdered by McGrath'.

The murder of Noel Lemass is notable for the fact that it took place after the end of the Civil War, he being abducted in July 1923 and his dismembered body located at the Featherbed in the Dublin Mountains in October (the spot is marked by a monument). While it is accepted that Free State forces were to blame, I have never seen anyone mentioned by name as the killer, and although McGrath might have turned a blind eye, one wonders if he is being unfairly accused? Ulick O'Connor wrote in the Sunday Indo in 2002 that Noel Lemass was killed because of the mistaken belief that he had been involved in the murder of Sean Hales.

Those were indeed terrible times, and it is suspected that the Military Archives in Cathal Brugha Barracks may still hold some surviving secret files that just might throw a little more light on these officially sanctioned murders. You will still find the odd 'Blueshirt' justifying the killings today, in the cause of preserving order and democracy. Of course the Republicans killed ruthlessly as well and have their apologists, but they could not match the ferocity and resources of their former colleagues and friends in the Free State government.
 

Tomas Mor

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Rumour has it that he was killed by one of his own- just as it was rumoured Collins was taken out by one of his own.
 

SlabMurphy

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In the Irish Mail on Sunday of 3rd October, Dermot Bolger's review of Damian Corless's Irish Hospitals Sweeptstakes contains some remarkable claims. Joe McGrath, one of the leading lights of the Sweepstakes racket, as is well known, is also stated to have been 'Michael Collins's former enforcer and torturer'. More than that, Bolger alleges that Seán Lemass's brother Noel 'was tortured and murdered by McGrath'.

The murder of Noel Lemass is notable for the fact that it took place after the end of the Civil War, he being abducted in July 1923 and his dismembered body located at the Featherbed in the Dublin Mountains in October (the spot is marked by a monument). While it is accepted that Free State forces were to blame, I have never seen anyone mentioned by name as the killer, and although McGrath might have turned a blind eye, one wonders if he is being unfairly accused? Ulick O'Connor wrote in the Sunday Indo in 2002 that Noel Lemass was killed because of the mistaken belief that he had been involved in the murder of Sean Hales.

Those were indeed terrible times, and it is suspected that the Military Archives in Cathal Brugha Barracks may still hold some surviving secret files that just might throw a little more light on these officially sanctioned murders. You will still find the odd 'Blueshirt' justifying the killings today, in the cause of preserving order and democracy. Of course the Republicans killed ruthlessly as well and have their apologists, but they could not match the ferocity and resources of their former colleagues and friends in the Free State government.
Bolger or any other hack can and will say what they like as the dead cannot sue for libel. Examples Micheal Collins been gay :rolleyes: ( Harris ), Dev been a British spy etc, etc
 

shutuplaura

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Rumour has it that he was killed by one of his own- just as it was rumoured Collins was taken out by one of his own.
I think I heard the same rumour about Liam Lynch. I guess conspiracy theories have always been with us.

The National Army Archives were purges by the CnaG government in the early 1930's. I know this affected most if not all court martial documents and documents related to deaths in custody during the civil war. This probably would relate to any documents on any state sanctioned murder.
 

turdsl

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Mar 2, 2008
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26,085
In the Irish Mail on Sunday of 3rd October, Dermot Bolger's review of Damian Corless's Irish Hospitals Sweeptstakes contains some remarkable claims. Joe McGrath, one of the leading lights of the Sweepstakes racket, as is well known, is also stated to have been 'Michael Collins's former enforcer and torturer'. More than that, Bolger alleges that Seán Lemass's brother Noel 'was tortured and murdered by McGrath'.

The murder of Noel Lemass is notable for the fact that it took place after the end of the Civil War, he being abducted in July 1923 and his dismembered body located at the Featherbed in the Dublin Mountains in October (the spot is marked by a monument). While it is accepted that Free State forces were to blame, I have never seen anyone mentioned by name as the killer, and although McGrath might have turned a blind eye, one wonders if he is being unfairly accused? Ulick O'Connor wrote in the Sunday Indo in 2002 that Noel Lemass was killed because of the mistaken belief that he had been involved in the murder of Sean Hales.

Those were indeed terrible times, and it is suspected that the Military Archives in Cathal Brugha Barracks may still hold some surviving secret files that just might throw a little more light on these officially sanctioned murders. You will still find the odd 'Blueshirt' justifying the killings today, in the cause of preserving order and democracy. Of course the Republicans killed ruthlessly as well and have their apologists, but they could not match the ferocity and resources of their former colleagues and friends in the Free State government.

I have mentioned this many times down through the years to Fine Gael people, They were always the best at condemning Adams and McGuinness and the IRA as cold blooded killers
Mention the Killing of Noel Lemass and the excuses varied and the subject would change.
some of the answers were just unbelievable, It was one of the most savage killings ever.
Fine Gael never did want to hear about it, One point must be said Sean Lemass always treated the opposition with dignity, I am sure he did not find it easy at times on account of that episode in the countries history alone.
 

SlabMurphy

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I have mentioned this many times down through the years to Fine Gael people, They were always the best at condemning Adams and McGuinness and the IRA as cold blooded killers
Mention the Killing of Noel Lemass and the excuses varied and the subject would change.
some of the answers were just unbelievable, It was one of the most savage killings ever.
Fine Gael never did want to hear about it, One point must be said Sean Lemass always treated the opposition with dignity, I am sure he did not find it easy at times on account of that episode in the countries history alone.
A few years ago I was riding my motorbike heading through the Dublin mountains and I seen the statue off at a distance ( about 30/40 yards from the road ). Curiosity getting the better of me, I parked the bike and went up to it wondering if it had some Celtic era significance or something. The cross is a fitting memorial but it was an horrendous act for the Free State army to do. What his last few hours must have been like is beyond me.

But then the Free State executed more Republicans in the Civil War than the Brits 1916 - 1921. So much for Irish ' freedom '
 

turdsl

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Mar 2, 2008
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26,085
A few years ago I was riding my motorbike heading through the Dublin mountains and I seen the statue off at a distance ( about 30/40 yards from the road ). Curiosity getting the better of me, I parked the bike and went up to it wondering if it had some Celtic era significance or something. The cross is a fitting memorial but it was an horrendous act for the Free State army to do. What his last few hours must have been like is beyond me.

But then the Free State executed more Republicans in the Civil War than the Brits 1916 - 1921. So much for Irish ' freedom '
Any time I ever mention it to F.G people their is silence also the disappearance of Dail records That is OK. strange things happen in war,more strange afterwards.It is the hypocritical attitude that some people in Fine Gael took during the troubles in the North. It was the Gerry Adams bad. Michael Collins good mantra that fascinated me. Most books that i have read say that he was taken up to to the Dublin mountains by agents of the Free State tortured, murdered and dumped in a boghole, It was made all the worse as the troubles was over. I have not looked recently but there was a piece and a photo of the memorial on the internet.
 

Catalpa

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Jun 10, 2004
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10,301
Yeah I've gone by that spot too.

No idea who did it other than obviously FS supporters


- but Sean Lemass must have had a pretty good idea who the culprits were & when he came to power

- and let it go.

Terrible things were done by both sides in those times

- and the best we can do is remember the victims but not stir up old hatreds.
 

Orando Broom

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Feb 3, 2009
Messages
57
Yeah I've gone by that spot too.

No idea who did it other than obviously FS supporters


- but Sean Lemass must have had a pretty good idea who the culprits were & when he came to power

- and let it go.

Terrible things were done by both sides in those times

- and the best we can do is remember the victims but not stir up old hatreds.

The ripple effect from these acts are the reason our political system is in such utter disarray. Fine Gael and Fianna Gael stand for everything and stand for nothing, Civil War, not political lines dictate the vote, even to this day. These acts and countless others were so utterly heinous that their impact on so many communities still resonates.

You have never needed to have a clear strategy or policy in this land as you could put a rabid dog up for election and if it wore the right colour rosette it would get elected.
 

JohnD66

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May 20, 2010
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Just on the Joe McGrath thing.

McGrath was in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, or CID, which was effectively Collins' Squad acting acting, nominally as police unit. They were indeed involved in a lot of assassinations and severe beatings or even torture of anti-treaty people in Dublin.

Very likely they were also behind the Lemass killing. But no one, to my knowledge has ever shown proof that they killed Noel Lemass and linking McGrath, who in practice had very little control over these gunmen is stretching it another step. What I'm saying is that it's possible he knew about but the evidence is not there to support it one way or the other.

The other thing to consider is that the CID was not the only Free State group doing assassinations in Dublin. Another clutch can be traced back to military intelligence in Wellington (later Griffith) Barracks. And some other reprisal killings were probably done in the heat of the moment by ordinary FS soldiers in revenge for anti-treaty attacks.
 

turdsl

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The war was over at that time, several books just say that he was taken away by Free State agents and leave it at that, Sean Lemass was a tough politician but he always kept this episode in his life close to his chest which he deserves great credit for.
 

turdsl

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Just on the Joe McGrath thing.

McGrath was in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, or CID, which was effectively Collins' Squad acting acting, nominally as police unit. They were indeed involved in a lot of assassinations and severe beatings or even torture of anti-treaty people in Dublin.

Very likely they were also behind the Lemass killing. But no one, to my knowledge has ever shown proof that they killed Noel Lemass and linking McGrath, who in practice had very little control over these gunmen is stretching it another step. What I'm saying is that it's possible he knew about but the evidence is not there to support it one way or the other.

The other thing to consider is that the CID was not the only Free State group doing assassinations in Dublin. Another clutch can be traced back to military intelligence in Wellington (later Griffith) Barracks. And some other reprisal killings were probably done in the heat of the moment by ordinary FS soldiers in revenge for anti-treaty attacks.
No doubt revenge looks to have played a part. It has been said than Sean Lemass knew who the murderers were but never used it;
It was a terrible act especially seeing the war was over,
 
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