Patrick Tierney’s Medal

Thanks again to Richard Butler, great nephew of Patrick Tierney, for sharing the Photos of the medal that was posthumously awarded to Patrick Tierney. It is known as the 1917 to 1921 Service Medal. It is also nicknamed the Black and Tan medal after the colours in the ribbon. This medal was awarded to those who were deemed to have taken part in the Irish War of Independence on active service. There were two types of medal with Comrac bar issued, named and un-named. Named medals were issued to those Killed in Action or who had died between the end of the war and the issuing of the medals, which began in 1941.There is no difference in design between named and un-named medals. COMRAC is Gaelic for Struggle.

Posthumously Awarded in 1954

Both Patrick Tierney and Sean O’Carroll were awarded these medals posthumously. To get a medal an application had to be made and it then had to be verified by statements from your fellow brothers in arms, or commanding officer, as to the actions that were carried out, against the British Forces in your local area.Patrick’s brother, Martin, made the application for the medal and it was granted. His service was certified by his IRA commanding officers, Eugene Kavanagh and Owen O’Doherty. It was concluded that Patrick had met his death at the hands of Crown Forces so this medal with Bar was issued to his step- mother, Bridget Tierney on 31st March 1954.

There was another version of this medal without Comrac Bar. It was issued to those who took part in the War of Independence but were not deemed to have engaged in active service. Delia Spillane, Patrick Tierney’s sister, would have gotten one of these as would Patrick’s brother Martin. Martin had been issued the without Bar medal in error. The government did write to him indicating they would issue a medal with Comrac Bar if he returned the other one but, for one reason or another Martin never received his proper medal.

Medal Description

The official description of recipients of this medal is Medal, without bar to persons whose service is not deemed to be active military service, but who were members of Oglaigh na hEireann (Irish Republican Army), Fianna Eireann, Cumann na mBan or the Irish Citizen Army for the three months ended on the 11th of July 1921.

The design of the medal is described as A circular medal approximately one and three fifth inches in diameter bearing on the obverse the Arm of the Four Provinces of Ireland. In the centre appears a standing figure, facing front, depicting a Volunteer, a member of a guerrilla force – termed “Flying Column” – of the period 1917 – 1922 in typical dress (trench coat and cap with rifle, revolver and bandoleer). The word “EIRE” appears horizontally across the centre of the medal in large letters (two either side of the figure). The words “Cogadh na Saoirse” which are translated “The Fight for Freedom” appear below.

Patrick’s step mother Bridget, his sister Delia and brother Martin all tried, for many years, to get a military pension for Bridget but this was denied on the grounds that Bridget had received over £250 compensation from Louth County Council which ruled her out of the qualifications for a military pension.I have attached all the documents relating to this pension application. These are taken from’s Note.

The 30 November 2020 will mark the centenary of the murders, by Crown Forces, of Patrick Tierney and Sean O’Carroll in Ardee. I previously posted, in three parts, the history of that terrible event. I will do so again, in late November, where I can hopefully identify which company of the Auxies carried out the murders.I have a hugh favour to ask everybody. Can we all start searching for the medal that was similarly awarded to Sean O’Carroll. I feel it would be a great honour to Patrick and Sean if we can bring the two medals together as a mark of respect for their lives, which they gave for Irish Freedom. Sean’s mother refused to take his medal as she had been denied a military pension, so the medal was giving to Julia Lynch, in whose house Sean had been lodging in but, it seems, that they were actually lovers.

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