PRIVATE JOSEPH MORAN. A CIVIL WAR CASUALTY
Karel Kiely & James Durney
Private Joseph Moran, National Army, was the only fatality of the Grangewilliam/Pike Bridge engagement. He was part of a National Army group assembled by Captain Joseph Ledwith in Maynooth, when he heard of the ambush of a lorry at Pike Bridge, Leixlip, by the anti-Treaty Mullaney Column. The party advanced across country from Maynooth travelling to Grangewilliam House, where the Mullaney Column were holed up. Pte. Moran and another soldier became isolated from the main party and he was shot through the head in open ground near the house. Following an inquest held on 4 December 1922, his cause of death was recorded as “Shock and haemorrhage due to laceration of the base of the brain caused by a bullet wound received while on duty in an encounter with irregulars.”
Although originally from John’s Lane, in Naas, Joseph Moran lived at Balfeighan, on the Kilcock to Summerhill road. On 7 July 1919 he married Bridget Clarke, a housekeeper, also of Balfeighan, the daughter of Charles Clarke, a herd. At the time Moran was serving in the British Army and was awaiting demobilisation. He had served in the British Army during Word War I and on his discharge gained employment with Kildare County Council. On the outbreak of the Civil War or thereabouts, Joseph Moran enlisted in the newly-formed National Army.
He was buried in Boycetown Cemetery, Kilcock, some time after his death. According to the Register of Purchases of Grave Spaces (01 March 1909–01 June 1939) the grave was purchased by his wife, Mrs. Bridget Moran, Balfeighan, Kilcock, wife of a labourer, on 26 April 1923 for the sum of £1, and Joseph, aged 35 years, was interred in the cemetery on 25 March 1923. His grave is located in ‘Section of Ground No. 2.’
Register of Purchases, Boycetown Cemetery, Kilcock