Sean Hales was appointed as Captain of the Ballinadee Company of the Irish Volunteers in 1916 and, although he did not participate in the Easter Rising, he was arrested in its aftermath. Interned in Frongoch prison camp until April 1917, he became involved with Count Plunkett’s Liberty League upon his release, and later joined Sinn Féin, as well as the Bandon People’s Food Committee and the Unpurchased Tenants’ Association. As commander of the 1st (Bandon) Battalion of the IRA’s 3rd Cork Brigade, he led the ambush of Timoleague RIC barracks in February 1920, and later conducted further attacks against British troops at Brinny and Newcestown Cross, both in Co. Cork. He joined the west Cork flying column later in 1920 and participated in the attacks at Crossbarry and Castle Bernard. Hales was elected to the Dáil in 1921 and retained his seat in 1922 as a pro-Treaty candidate. His support for the Public Safety Act of that year made him a target for republicans and he was shot by the IRA on the 7th December 1922, under orders from Liam Lynch. The provisional government responded the next day by executing Rory O’Connor, Liam Mellows, Richard Barrett and Joseph McKelvey, all prominent republicans.
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