Thomas Fanning of Lissaroon and the Dwyer sisters of Bouladuff 1914 Dispute

Thomas Fanning, a religious man who made a pilgrimage to Rome, was the last Fanning to live at Lissaroon in Co Tipperary. He was involved in a dispute with his Dwyer nieces from The Ragg.

Thomas Faning of Lissaroon and his wife Hanna Fanning nee Bannon


I came across this interesting article from the Nenagh Guardian 24 Jan 1914:

One of the Dwyer sisters Kathleen went on to marry Denis Bannon. The eldest Josie (Johanna Mary Josephine) became a nun, Sister Mary Cyril. One of their brothers was Thomas Dwyer who was murdered in 1920 by members of the RIC. The other brother, Eamon, worked for newspapers.

Sister Mary Cyril Dwyer Evening Herald 31 Mar 1961.


Irish Independent 22 Jul 1939

The disputes within the family continued.

Nenagh Guardian 19 Jun 1915


Nenagh Guardian 11 Sept 1915

Thomas Fanning was the last person to live at the Lissaroon property. I was told he was very religious and made a trip to Rome. He and his wife did not have any children. The Dwyers were the children of his sister Catherine. In 1920 their brother Thomas was murdered in Bouladuff by members of the RIC.

Kathleen’s second husband was Denis Bannon. She was also a publican and also ended up in Thurles courts over breaking of the licensing Act. Below is a transcript of one such occasion

Nenagh Guardian 28 Dec 1929


Tom Fanning’s pilgrimage to Rome Freemans Journal 3 Oct 1908

Below is a detailed and delightful description of the two weeks in Italy. The group left Dublin on the 16th of Oct and returned on 3 Nov 1908:

The Rome Pilgrimage made by Thomas Fanning Munster Express 26 Dec 1908


Laurence Francis Fanning Bouladuff Co Tipperary Ireland 1874-1938

Laurence Francis Fanning (1874-1938) was the son of Michael Fanning and Catherine Ryan of Lissaroon Co Tipperary Ireland. He spent considerable time in America. He married Bridget Fanning of Clondoty. They had two children. He lived in Bouladuff working as a publican and farmer until his death in 1938.

Laurence Fanning Outside his pub in Bouladuff Inch Co Tipperary Ireland c1909 use
Laurence Fanning outside his pub in Bouladuff, The Ragg, Co Tipperary Ireland. The original photo is in a restaurant now on the site of his pub.
Larry Fanning behind the bar. Not sure if Bouladuff or New York. Think more likely Bouladuff Co Tipperary.
Larry Fanning

Laurence was the son of Michael Fanning (1811-1878) and Catherine Ryan and was born at Lisaroon on 27 Oct 1874. He spent some time in America and made a number of trips back to Ireland before permanently settling in Bouladuff Co Tipperary.

Bouladuff is a village five miles from Thurles. It is also known as Inch and The Ragg. It is bounded by the Silvermine Mountains on the north west and by the Slieveardagh Hills on the southeast.

On the records at Ellis Laurence F. Fanning, aged 30, from Thurles arrived on the “Teutonic” on 25 May 1905. He was a US Citizen, occupation clerk. His final destination was 4659 State St Chicago and reason for journey was “returning home”. Port of departure was Queenstown (Cobh), Co Cork, Ireland.

At some point, Laurence returned to Ireland and then eloped with his cousin Bridget Fanning. There was such outrage that they went to America where Laurence worked as a barman.

They did  return to live at Bouladuff. On the 1911 Census he is married to Bridget Fanning and has two children, Kathleen aged 2 and Michael 11 mths. He is listed as a farmer and a publican at Bouladuff near Thurles. On his son Michael’s birth record he is listed as a shopkeeper in Bouladuff. Kathleen was born in 1909 and Michael on 6 July 1910 in Bouladuff.

Nenagh Guardian 8 Apr 1911
1911 Census Lawrence Fanning Clehile_0002
1911 Census return for Laurence Francis Fanning Bouladuff Co Tipperary Ireland


Laurence Francis Fanning 1874-1938_2

Memorial card for Laurence Fanning

Bridget Fanning Bouladuff death notice Irish Press 6 June 1939

Laurence and Bridget had two children, Michael (Micky) and Catherine (Kitty) Fanning.

Micky Fanning, son of Laurence and Bridget and his wife Eileen Bunyan.

Below is an article from the Nenagh Guardian relating to police investigating Fannings Pub in Bouladuff.

Nenagh Guardian 17 Dec 1938

In 1950 Micky Fanning put the premises at Bouladuff up for sale:

Nenagh Guardian 23 Sept 1938


Michael J Fanning Bouladuff death Nenagh Guardian 13 May 1961
Catherine Kitty Fanning death Irish Independent 5 Jun 1979


Thomas Dwyer of Bouladuff Co Tipperary Ireland 1899-1920

Thomas A Dwyer was born in 1899 in Co Tipperary Ireland. His mother was Catherine Fanning of Lissaroon and his father was Michael Dwyer. He was a member of the IRA and was murdered in Bouladuff, called The Ragg, on 29 March 1920. He is buried in Drom Cemetery Co Tipperary.

Thomas Dwyer cropped
Thomas Dwyer 1899-1920 Co Tipperary Ireland

Thomas Dwyer, aged 21 years, of Bouladuff Co Tipperary Ireland was shot dead by members of the R.I.C., the Black & Tans, on the morning of  March 29 1920.  His mother was Catherine Fanning of Lissaroon.

I was told by a relation that the family was so shattered by his murder that it was not spoken of for 40 years.

Catherine Mary Dwyer nee fanning, the mother of Tom Dwyer. She is with Josephine her daughter.
The Ragg Map
Map of The Ragg, Bouladuff, Co Tipperary Ireland

Bouladuff, also known as Inch and The Ragg is a village 5 miles outside of Thurles and 3 miles from Borrisoleigh.

In March of 1920 Constable Heany was shot in The Ragg and later died.

Evening Herald 5 Mar 1920

Constable Henue Murder Evening Herald 10 Mar 1920

Irish Independent 6 March 1920
Evening Herald 10 March 1920
Irish Independent 6 March 1920


It is hard not to think that this death of the constable was not connected to the murder of Thomas Dwyer on 29 Mar the same year. The murder of Thomas Dwyer was reported in The Irish Times, March 30 1920:

Our Thurles Correspondent telegraphed as follows last night- Bouladuff, a quiet little village four miles from Thurles, commonly known as The Ragg, was the scene of a terrible murder last night. The trouble started about 3.30. A group of men stood in the village street, when suddenly shots rang out, and the police charged and dispersed the people.

For some hours afterwards all was quiet.

At 12.30 five men knocked at the house of Thomas Dwyer, part of whose premises consist of a shop. Dwyer’s sister, Mrs Delaney, heard the knocking, and got up and asked-“Who is there?” “Friends” was the reply. “Is Tom inside?”. She suspected something was afoot, and told them through the keyhole that Tom was not in. They replied that they knew that he was, and that they would break in the door if it was not opened quickly.

Mrs Delaney, when interviewed to-day, said that she was terribly frightened. Her brother was in bed but a short time, having remained outside as he had a presentiment that he would be shot. He told them earlier the day that he feared that his end was near. She went to his room and told him about the men at the door. Returning to the door which the men were kicking, she had just turned the key when the five men burst in. Mrs Delaney screamed at their appearance. They wore false beards and masks, and they carried rifles. Brushing her roughly into the kitchen, one man covered her with a rifle, while the other four passed towards the room where her brother Thomas lay. The doomed man appeared at the door wearing his pants, with a lighted candle in his hand. The men appeared to know their man quite well, for the moment they got a glimpse of him they fired.

Dwyer fell mortally wounded, pierced by two bullets, one of which smashed the candlestick in two. While he lay on the ground one of the assassins said “Has he enough?” and another replied “Give him another,” so another shot was fired into the body. Dwyer gave a moan, and the murderers made off, first asking Mrs Delaney “Is there anybody else to be shot here.” They slammed the door, and while they were on the roadway outside the house they fired several shots apparently at random.

The screams of Mrs Delaney aroused the neighbours, who ran for a priest and a doctor. Father Hayes arrived in time to administer the last rites of the Church. Dr Power, Borrisoleigh, also came, and did all that he could, but Dwyer expired an hour after the shooting. Two men were seen running from the back of Dwyer’s house across the fields after the murder.”

Fermanagh herald 3 Apr 1920

An inquest was held and here is part of what was written in The Irish Times on March 31, 1920:

The town of Thurles was quiet today, but evidence of recent disturbances were apparent in the shattered windows of a number of shops, and in the display of shutters as tokens of mourning for the young man, Thomas Dwyer, who met his death under such mysterious circumstances at Bouladuff……..The Ragg is a village containing not more than a dozen houses, three of which are licensed. It will be recalled that the hamlet came under public notice some weeks ago through the murder of a policeman named Heanue there on the 4th March. It was stated in evidence at the inquest on Constable Heanue that the men who fired the shots were absolute strangers to the locality. Bouladuff is on the main road between Thurles and Borrisoleigh, three miles from the latter town. The nearest police station to the village is Dovea, about a mile distant. Dwyer was a young man, about 21 years of age, and is described as having been industrious in his habits, and popular in the locality. The only other occupants of the house at the time that he was shot by the raiders were his widowed sister, Mrs Delaney, and her little daughter, and an invalid uncle………There are about 100 additional police on duty in Thurles to-night, those in the streets carrying carbines.”

Tom Dwyer was buried in Drom or Drum old Catholic Cemetery, Co Tipperary.

The funeral  was reported in The Irish Times on April 1, 1920:

“Business was entirely suspended in the town of Thurles and the surrounding towns and villages today. All the shops in Thurles were closed, including the licensed houses, and a quiet, if anything, even more pronounced than that of the Sabbath prevailed. The suspension of business was intended as a demonstration of sympathy with the family of Thomas Dwyer, the young man who was shot dead at Bouladuff in the small hours of Monday morning last.

The funeral took place from the Roman Catholic Church at Inch, close to Bouladuff, at noon to-day. From an early hour a long string of vehicular and pedestrian traffic was proceeding along the six miles of highway between Thurles and Inch. Every single available vehicle in Thurles was pressed into service for the occasion. The direction of traffic, and of the day’s proceedings generally seemed to be in the hands of the Sein Fein Volunteers. Many of these Volunteers were in uniform, and wore belts and bandoliers, and haversacks. Squads of men in military formation marched along the road to Inch, and crowds of Volunteers were across the roadway at the approaches to Bouladuff. There was not a single policeman to be seen in the village or in its vicinity. At least two thousand Volunteers from all parts of North Tipperary and from further afield were concentrated at the scene. The number of vehicles, which came to participate in the funeral procession-traps, side-cars, and soforth-approached, if did not exceed, a thousand.

Shortly after noon the funeral procession started from Inch Church on its way to the cemetery at Drom, six miles away. Rain fell heavily for the most part of the journey. The procession was headed by a single company of the Irish Volunteers, most of them in uniform. On either side of the hearse marched a singlr file of Volunteers, while behind the hearse came three mourning coaches containing the chief mourners. There then marched a number of Irish Volunteer contingents, Sinn Fein Clubs, representativesof the Transport Workers’ Union, a party of young women of the Cumana na uBan, and a contingent of demobilised soldiers form the Thurles district. None of the Volunteers marching in the procession displayed any arms.

On its way to the cemetery the procession passed Dovea Police Barrack, but no demonstration of any kind was made. The doors of the barrack were closed, and the police remained inside while the cortege was passing. When the procession was about half-way on the road between Inch and Drom a Volunteer cyclist rode up to the leaders with the intelligence that a large party of military and police had occupied the Drom Cemeterty and its immediate vicinity. The leaders, however, decided to proceed on their way, and no alteration was made in the order of the procession. It appears that about an hour before the procession was due to arrive at Drom several military lorries drew up outside the cemetery. At the time a contingent of Volunteers was standing in the roadway apparently for the purpose of regulating the traffic when the funeral arrived. There were about one hundred soldiers and policemen, the former belonging to the Northampton Regiment, and the latter being in charge of District Inspector Wilson, Nenagh. The soldiers carried full military equipment, and the police were armed with carbines. This party entered the cemetery and took up various positions in parts of it, the military falling into line along the wall of the graveyard, and a party of police standing a short distance from the open grave. No incidents of an untoward nature occurred, and, though evidences of excitement were visible among the crowd, the impression commonly prevailed that the presence of the soldiers and police was for the purpose of preventing the firing of a volley over the grave, as had been done at the funeral of Mr. McCarthy on Monday last. No volley was fired, though it was subsequently stated that when, at the termination of the religious ceremony at the  graveside, the military and the police had returned to Templemore, a party of Volunteers fired a volley over the grave. The prayers at the graveside were recited by Rev. Father Finn, and a Volunteer bugler sounded the “Last Post”. An officer of the Irish Volunteers delivered an oration at the graveside.  After the funeral the crowd quietly dispersed.”

The Liberator (Tralee) 1 Apr 1920


Nenagh Guardian 3 Apr 1920

The Irish Times reported on March 31 1920:

Thomas Dwyer Two Tipperary Murders 31 Mar 1920 irish Times_0002

Thomas Dwyer Two Tipperary Murders 31 Mar 1920 irish Times_0003

Nenagh Guardian July 31 1920:

The Nenagh Guardian 17 Apr 1920


The Ragg, Thurles, was the scene of another outbreak by police on Saturday.

Four huge motor lorries filled with armed police left Thurles on Saturday at 6 p.m., cheering and discharging shots as they passed through the streets. They started from the police barrack, having it is stated come from Limerick on transfer back to Belfast via Dublin. They continued discharging shots as they dashed along, passing Killinan cemetery and Ballinashow. Arriving at Bouladuff, known as The Ragg, the four lorries halted at Dwyer’s public house, into which they rushed, brushed the attendant aside, and getting behind the counter each man helped himself to as much drink as he pleased. A quantity was consumed on the premises, and a great deal more was transferred to the lorries and not paid for.

When this had been done the party returned to the house, knocked all remaining bottles off the shelves with their rifles and then fired volley after volley for a considerable time through the ceiling.

After making the place a complete scene of wreckage they proceeded on their journey cheering. The only persons present at the time were an invalid man and his niece, Mrs Delaney, sister of the late Thomas Dwyer, the victim of The Ragg tragedy. The house has been repeatedly fired into since the shooting of Thomas Dwyer, and his sisters were so terrified as to leave the house derelict for some time, until they received an assurance from the authorities that they would receive no further molestation.

The Liberator (Tralee) 27 Jul 1920

In the recently released witness accounts in the Bureau of Military History James Leahy of Nenagh, an active IRA member, describes what was happening with the Black and Tans and Police in and around Thurles in 1920. Leahy recounts the murder of Tom Dwyer and the events that followed.

Tom Dwyer James Leahy's Account Military Records p1

Tom Dwyer James Leahy's Account Military Records p2
James Leahy’s Account of the murder of Tom Dwyer


Kate Fanning & Michael Dwyer marriage Nenagh Guardian 23 Feb 1991


Rev Michael O’Dwyer brother of Thomas. Nenagh Guardian 17 May 1952
Thomas’ brother Eamonn. Eamonn J O’Dwyer Death Irish Independent 22 July 1939
Johanna Dwyer, Sister Mary Cyril, death notice Nenagh Guardian 15 Apr 196. Sister of Thomas Dwyer.













Kathleen Dwyer (Mary Cath Dwyer) 1893-1952 was present the night of Thomas Dwyer’s murder. She was married to Mathew Joseph Delaney. He died in 1919. In 1921 Kathleen, as she was known as, married Denis Bannon. She and Denis ran the Post Office/Pub at Bouladuff.

The Bouladuff residence that was Tom Dwyer’s Pub
Ragg murder Compensation Claim Freemans Journal 12 Oct 1920
Kathleen Delaney Probate Freemans Journal 13 Feb 1920












Kathleen Bannon nee Dwyer Nenagh Guardian 28 Dec 1929 p2

Kathleen Bannon sues Nenagh Guardian 7 May 1938 p2
Kathleen Bannon nee Dwyer Death Notice Irish Press 21 May 1952

The Ragg Bouladuff Tom Dwyer's Plaque


The Ragg Bouladuff Tom Dwyer’s Plaque

Thomas Dwyer 1899-1920 Bouladuff Drom Cem Co Tipperary Ireland
Thomas Dwyer 1899-1920 Bouladuff Co Tipperary Ireland Drom Cemetery

There is also a bridge on the Mall River in Templemore Co Tipperary that has been named after Lieutenant Thomas O’Dwyer.

Freemans Journal 12 Oct 1920
A talk given in 2016 on the significance of the murder of Tom Dwyer. Connaught Telegraph 6 Sept 2016












Ancestor Report for Thomas Dwyer of Bouladuff. Updated Jan 2018.