Tuesday, 5 February 2013

ex-soldier Malachy Halfpenny

Malachy Halpenny served with the Royal Field Artillery during the Great War, number 120000.

After his return to Belfast, he was to fall victim of the B Special/RIC Cromwell Gang reputed to be under the command of District Inspector Nixon. In June 1921, he was dragged from his bed and beaten. Halfpenny's feet were pierced by a bayonet to prevent any chance of escape. He was shot several times and his bullet riddled body was found in a field having been thrown on a barbed wired fence. 17 bullet wounds were counted.

According to a debate at Westminster, one brother had died during the Great War and 3 others had served.


James Halfpenny from Belfast was killed in June 1917 with the Royal Irish Fusiliers having been in the Connaught Rangers

A short while before his death, Malachy Halfpenny had appeared in the London/Edinburgh Gazettes
making progress in his job as a Postman


District Inspector John William Nixon was dismissed from the RUC in 1924. He went on to become a politician in Belfast Council and later an MP at Stormont.


  1. Kieran Glennon3 March 2013 at 12:36

    From the Provisional Govt file on DI Nixon (Blythe papers, UCD Archives, P24/176):

    "The party next proceeded to … the house of Malachy Halpenny – a member of the AOH. Halpenny was dragged from bed by Gordon and Sterritt and taken to the Crossley, struggling the while. He was beaten with butt ends of rifles, and taken out to the Ligoniel Road about half a mile from his home, was riddled with bullets, his body thrown across a barbed wire fence and dragged across it into a field, thus tearing his flesh to ribbons. People living in a Villa close by heard Halpenny moaning for almost twenty minutes. When found on Sunday morning at about 6 a.m. it was found that seventeen shots were fired into his body, the soles of his feet pierced with a bayonet and his testicles also torn out by a bayonet.
    The foregoing was supplied by members of the RIC who supplied signed statements."

  2. Malachy was my great, great uncle. His family will always treasure and remember Malachy .

  3. Malachy was my great great great uncle his memory and name has been passed down every generation clearly he was loved to be so well remembered.
    Rip to all those killed during irelands troubled history.

  4. Malachy was my great great great uncle his memory lives on with his name being passed down every generation. He was clearly well loved and highly regarded by Al who knew him how sad to read his sorry story