Thomas Kent - Tomas Ceannt
aka locally in Cork as Edmund Kent
Thomas Kent was born in 1865 at the family home, Bawnard House,
Castlelyons, Co. Cork. Ireland.
This plaque was erected on Fermoy Bridge, in memory of the Kent Family....a local
and very Republican Family who fought against British occupation of this
Thomas and David had been active in the organisation of the Volunteer's
in East Cork, and with their brothers Richard and William they had not been
sleeping at home after the Easter Rising. The night of the 1st of May was the
first they spent in their home for some time.
Early next morning the House was surrounded by armed police,
with orders to arrest the whole Family.
In the early hours of the next morning, 2 May 1916, armed British Forces,
led by Head Constable Rowe, completely surrounded the Kent Family
home (Bawnard House) at Castlelyons, Co. Cork a few miles south of Fermoy.
The Kents, armed with a rifle and some shotgun's decided to resist.
The Police accompanied by Military reinforcements opened fire on the House,
the conflict lasted until the Kent's had exhausted their ammunition,
brothers, David, Thomas, William and Richard along with their Mother resisted
fiercely. Their Mother who at the time was 84 kept the brothers
supplied with ammunition.
When the Kent's surrendered after a three hour defence of their home,
the House was partially wrecked and David Kent was seriously wounded.
He had lost two fingers in the fight and received a wound in the side.
After calling on the occupants to surrender, a pitch battle ensued during which
Constable Rowe was killed.
Constable Rowe's Grave in Castlehyde Cemetery
Thomas was not allowed to put on his boots when taken prisoner and was immediately
handcuffed. Before Richard could be similarly treated he made a gallant bid to
escape, he was shot down and seriouslt wounded. He died two days later in the
Military Hospital in Fermoy.
In the exchange of gunfire British Forces
suffered one fatality.......Constable Rowe of the Royal Irish Constabulary
The Brothers were eventually captured and taken to Fermoy
Barracks, then transferred to Victoria Barracks, later renamed Collins Barracks,
A picture of two of the Kent brothers being marched across the bridge
prior to their transfer to Cork.
David and William Kent were both tried by courts martial on the 4 May 1916;
William was acquitted but David Kent was found guilty of the murder of Head
Constable Rowe and was sentenced to death. This was commuted to one of five years
penal servitude. Thomas (Edmund) was found guilty and sentenced to death.
He was subsequently shot by firing squad at 4am on 9 May 1916.
Grave of Thomas Kent Victoria Barracks, Cork, which is
now Cork Prison.
Glanmire Railway Station, Cork, was renamed Kent Station in 1966 on the 50th Anniversary of the
1916 Easter Uprising. On 14th May 2000, a bust of Thomas Kent was unveiled by his niece,
Kathleen Kent, in the gardens of the station.
Bust of Thomas Kent