Private James Gallagher


James Gallagher was born on 21 March 1898 at Roshin Acres, Burtonport, County Donegal, eldest son of farmer Patrick (John) Gallagher and his wife Annie (nee Sweeney).

According to a later statement by his father:

[James] started to work in 1912 and worked in Scotland and at home until he had to join the British Army under the Conscription schemes.

He enlisted in the North Irish Horse in May or June 1917 (No.71876).

Gallagher embarked for France in the last months of the war (probably in November 1918) with a reinforcement draft for the North Irish Horse Cyclist Regiment, which was then acting as corps cyclists for V Corps.

On 7 June 1919, with around twenty other North Irish Horsemen, he transferred to the Army Cyclist Corps (No.23908) and was posted to IV Corps Cyclist Regiment, part of the Army of Occupation based in Rolsdorf, Germany.

He returned home for demobilisation at the end of the year.

After January 1922 Gallagher joined the army of the Irish Free State (No.56568). On 10 October that year he was working at Dublin's Mountjoy Prison when an escape attempt was made by a number of Republican prisoners. They fired on the guards, killing three and wounding Private Gallagher, who died later that day in the Mater Hospital.

His body was sent home to his family and he was buried in the Kincasslagh Church Graveyard.


Belfast News-Letter, 11 October 1922