Full Name: John Cullinane (sometimes spelled Cullnane).

Address: 11 H Iveagh Buildings, Old Bride Street.

Unit: D Coy, 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade.

Born: 24 October 1894 at 7 Mountjoy Prison Cottages.

Parents: Michael John Cullinane, a Cork man and Prison Warder and Isabella nee Smyth from Co. Longford.

Siblings: Michael, William, Isabella, Jane (died 1928) and Cormac.

Military Service: D Coy, 2nd Battalion during the Tan War. A couple of years beforehand, John had been arrested for his Volunteer activities.

On 19 February, he was one of twenty-eight men arrested during a DMP raid on the Ancient Order of Hibernians (American Alliance) rooms at 28 North Frederick Street. They were charged with illegal assembly for training and drilling contrary to DORA (Defence of the Realm Act), released and summonsed to court. Not one of the men appeared. But in a couple of weeks the whole group had been rounded up and brought before a judge. They refused to recognise the court and were sentenced to two months jail in default of paying bail. On being locked up in Mountjoy Prison, they went on hunger strike.

Cullinane was aged 23, 5 feet 5½ inches tall, weighed 133 pounds and had black hair, hazel eyes and a fresh complexion. Subsequently, he and four other prisoners (including Patrick Molloy otherwise James Foley) did agree to bail arrangements and were released from custody. Five others who had been hospitalised were also freed.

Apart from his involvement in the Burning and arrest, there is no information about his subsequent IRA activities. He spent from May to December in internment in Kilmainham. His photo appears in an autograph book displayed in the museum.

From the Cyril Daly autograph book (Kilmainhal Gaol Museum)

John is listed as a a member of D Coy on the second critical date (1 July 1922), strongly suggesting he stayed with the IRA at the split in early 1922 (His Company Captain was fellow Custom House Fire Brigade Man Jim Foley, a known anti-Treaty man). In fact John Cullinane is listed as a member of No. 1 Section of the Guards Company, Four Courts Garrison on 28 June 1922, his O. C. being Lieut. Joe McHenry (Source: WMSP34REF21416). It is not clear if Cullinane was arrested after the surrender and what else he did during the Civil War is not known.

Personal Life: John never married. He passed away on 22 November 1939 at 48 Carrow (Carragh) Road, Crumlin aged 45, an Electrician/Motor Driver. He was buried in his mother’s grave at Glasnevin Cemetery, plot YK255.5, St Patrick’s section.

Burning of Dublin Custom House 1921
John’s final resting place

Remarks: John’s father apparently died between 1907 and 1911 and the lad was sent to work as a servant on the farm of an elderly couple, the Buttlers in Ballyshingadaun, near Lough Mask, south Co. Mayo. The 1911 census shows his family scattered around Ireland. Their mother, a widow, was working as a Cook and Domestic Servant for a Magistrate in Co. Wicklow. Her other children were in various institutions – one daughter in school in Co. Armagh, two sons at the notorious industrial school in Letterfrack, Co Galway and the eldest lad working and boarding in Dublin. There must be some intriguing stories behind those bald facts…

By 1918 most of the family had managed to get back together in Iveagh Buildings, Bride Street, Dublin. All John’s surviving siblings got married while living there, his sister Jane died there in 1928 and their mother passed away in those Guinness Trust flats in 1937.

While John was with the anti-Treaty forces, his sister Isabella married a National Army officer, Lieut. Daniel Jevens in 1923. During the War of Independence he had served with 5th (Engineers) Battalion, No. 1 Coy, then the ASU – which Gary Deering says he joined he day after the Burning, as one of the replacements for the men lost at the Custom House.

Relatives: Donal Jevens, Group Member.

Des White