Martin O'Neill better known as "Scorcher Nail"

Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Mr. Martin O'Neill

"Scorcher Nail"


By kind permission of Michael Purcell

"Scorcher Nail"

Recently a fellow Carlovian told me that he had never heard of "Scorcher Nail”. I was surprised as I thought all Carlovians of a certain age knew of him.

Martin O'Neill better known as "Scorcher Nail" was as his nick-name suggests a very active member of the Irish Republican Army in Leinster who caused constant havoc for the Royal Irish Constabulary and the British forces stationed in the area. Some of his exploits are legendary. He was an uncle to the great Carlow footballer the late Ned Doogue. Scorcher died in August 1962, aged 65 years.

The following obituary was published in the Nationalist:

The late Mr. Martin O'Neill.

Mr Martin O' Neill, Dublin Road, Carlow, who has died was a prominent figure in the fight for independence from 1918 to 1924. He was attached to A Company, 1st Batt. Carlow Brigade until he joined the 1st Batt. Flying Column in 1922 and was on whole-time active service until 1924. He was awarded a Military Service Medal in appreciation of his service to Ireland. The coffin was draped in the Tricolour and old comrades carried the remains. They formed a guard of honour to St. Mary's Cemetery where the Last Post was sounded. Rev. J. O' Leary C.C. officiated at the graveside, assisted by Fr. Johnson. The late Mr O' Neill is survived by his brother Timothy O' Neill; Sisters Mrs Mary Horohan, Mrs Agnes Doogue; brother-in-law Mr J. Horohan and sister-in-law Mrs K. O' Neill.

Source: Michael Purcell 2009

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