Friday, April 23, 2010

Parle, Crean & Hogan: Wexford's Finest Patriots

“And now you three – we’ll honour thee
and your memories shall not fade
Since t’was your lot – in the rebel plot
Your bodies to be laid”

On the evening of the 12th of March, 1923, three republican prisoners being held by Freestate forces in Wexford Gaol, were informed that they were to be executed at dawn.

The three men were, James Parle from Clovervalley, John Crean from Taghmon, and Patrick Hogan from Wexford Town. James Parle was Adjutant to Bob Lambert in the famous Kyle Flying column.

On the night of the twelfth, Fr. Patrick Walsh, the republican priest who had once been PP of Rathangan, was called to attend to the men. Parle asked Fr. Walsh to advise Bob Lambert and his boys to do nothing rash by way of reprisal.

The three then marched bravely to the scene of their execution, the courtyard of Wexford Gaol. All three were extremely calm, with Parle commenting to Fr. Walsh, “Well, Father, I never felt so happy in my life!”

The three men were placed blindfolded against the wall. Hogan was placed in the middle. He was the only one of the three to die instantly in the executioners volley. Parle cried out; “shoot us again!” and a young officer promptly shot both men twice in the ear with his revolver.

Following the executions, the rebels retaliated by capturing and executing three freestate soldiers near Adamstown.

A little over three months after the executions of Parle, Crean and Hogan, Frank Aiken, the Chief-of-staff of the IRA ordered all anti- treaty forces to dump their arms. The civil war was finally over, but the hatred and mistrust that was born during this terrible period, would live on for many decades to come.

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