Fenianism Cork and Limerick in 1867 – Jim Hurley

Published on Dec 6, 2013

Members of the Second Battalion of the West Cork Brigade under the leadership of Jim Hurley attacked a patrol of six RIC men when they were ‘on mess duty’ within about a hundred yards of the RIC barracks at Rosscarbery. See FJ, 2 March 1921; Abbott (2000), 204-5. A local newspaper reported that on 28 February 1921 Constable Brock ‘was walking past a butcher’s shop in the centre of Rosscarbery [when] he was fired at by civilians, said to have been in hiding close by, and dangerously wounded in the stomach’. He died early the following morning (1 March). Brock had taken ‘a prominent part in the recent sensational battle at Burgatia [House]’, where soldiers and police had almost trapped an IRA party planning an attack on the RIC barracks in Rosscarbery. See CCE, 5 March 1921. Brock had seven months of service with the RIC; he had previously been a soldier and a labourer.

im Hurley was born in Clonakilty, County Cork on 26 February 1902. In his youth, he became involved in the Irish struggle for independence. He played a prominent role in the War of Independence as leader of a flying column in the Third Cork Brigade. Following the publication of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Hurley took the republican side in the subsequent Civil War. He was later interred in Cork and the Curragh but was released in 1924. Following this, Hurley returned to his native Clonakilty where he became town clerk and shortly afterwards, he enrolled as a night student at University College Cork. It was here that his sporting career began in earnest as he won a Fitzgibbon Cup medal with UCC’s hurlers.

Following his retirement from inter-county hurling and football, Hurley had a distinguished career as a public servant. In 1932, he graduated from UCC with a BComm degree and was appointed County Accountant with Meath County Council. He later moved to Longford where he worked as County Secretary. In 1937, Hurley returned to Cork and studied for an Arts degree in UCC. He graduated in 1942 and returned to Meath as County Manager. In 1944, Hurley returned to Cork and was appointed Secretary and Bursar of UCC, a position he held until his death.

His return to his native county coincided with a great era for Clonakilty’s and for Cork’s footballers. Hurley was a selector on the Cork football team that won the All-Ireland in 1945 and he was largely responsible for Jack Lynch’s selection on that team. He was also involved as a selector when Cork reached the All-Ireland finals of 1956 and 1957, and he was a selector on the Cork hurling team in the early 1960s.