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Somme: Partially deaf veteran was shot by Black and Tans in mix-up after returning home

By Ivan Little

Published 02/07/2016

Young men dressed in WW1 soldiers’ uniforms marching in file in Belfast yesterday in honour of victims of the Somme
Young men dressed in WW1 soldiers’ uniforms marching in file in Belfast yesterday in honour of victims of the Somme

A Longford man who fought with the British Army at the Somme was later shot and wounded at home by the Black and Tans because his partial deafness from the war meant he that could not hear their orders to stop.

But yesterday, Tommy McGoey's relatives were at the Somme centenary commemorations to remember everything he did. "We are really proud of my great-uncle," said Colm Mulligan, who is also from Longford.

"It was of course ironic that he survived everything that the Germans could throw at him, only to run foul of the Black and Tans four years later.

"He was riding his bike and because his hearing had been so badly impaired in the war, he didn't hear them shouting at him to halt.

"He was hit seven times, but miraculously he survived. He lived to a ripe old age, though he walked with a pronounced limp."

Tommy's experiences did not dampen Colm's interest in finding out more about his relative and about the Great War.

He was accompanied at the Somme yesterday by his children Ciara, Una and Darragh.

"This is in fact our second visit, and we were delighted to get tickets for the commemoration from the Somme Museum at Conlig,"he explained.

"And we were also lucky to get tickets to see Ireland beating Italy at the Euros."

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