Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Denis “Buller” Haughney

Graiguecullen 1896 - 1922

From the 'Pat Purcell Papers'

Young Soldier Dies of Injuries Sustained in G.A.A. Games.

These photos were taken in 1923 on the First Anniversary of Denis Hughney's death R.I.P.

It is rarely that injuries received by players in athletic games are attended with fatal consequences, but in this respect one of the saddest tragedies in the history of the G.A.A. occurred on Sunday the unfortunate victim being Denis Haughney, of Graiguecullen, an old member of the Young Ireland Club, and a Sergeant in the garrison of the Carlow Brigade of the I.R.A. stationed at Carlow Barracks.

Palatine and Graiguecullen met at Carlow in the first round of the Senior County Championship, and while the game was strenuously contested there was no bitterness or bad feeling between the opposing members of the teams. At half time both teams had drawn level, and the game had just restarted when poor Haughney received what proved to be his fatal injuries. He and a club- mate named W. Hogan, who were playing in the forward division, jumped together for the ball which was being thrown in from the touch - line : Both were travelling rapidly at the time and neither of them seems to have seen the other, until they crashed into each other with terrific forces,

Haughney receiving the full force of young Hogan’s knee in the stomach and viscera. The collision was truly accidental and was not contributed to in any way by any man on the Palatine side. At the time no more attention was paid to the accident than to the innumerable similar incidents which occur in hurling or football. A substitute was procured and the game was concluded. Young Haughney was seen to be seriously injured, however, and some of his companions from the Military Barracks, who were present at the game procured a Crossley car and had him conveyed to the County Infirmary, where he was attended by Dr. O’ Meara and Dr. Doyle, who declared that he was very badly hurt. He suffered intense pain on Sunday night and Monday, and vomited blood frequently. On Monday night a Specialist was procured, but he pronounced his case as hopeless, and the poor young fellow lingered until 9.30 p.m. on Tuesday, when he passed away.

“Buller”, as he was familiarly and generally called, was a general favourite with everybody. He was one of the neatest and most manly exponents of the Gaelic code in Ireland, and his death will come as a shock to all who knew him far and wide. He was the hero of many a game and his quite unassuming manner made him a lovable character. He was a gallant Irishman, too, and his country, and his colleagues, both in and out of the army, will miss him sadly. He was an old member of the I.R.A. and prior to joining the Garrison Force was Quarter - Master of H Company First Battalion Carlow Brigade, and in every capacity he was an intelligent and patriotic soldier. When his remains were removed from the County Infirmary to Graiguecullen Church on Tuesday evening his comrades - in- arms formed a Guard of Honour.

The Brigade Staff headed the funeral procession and the Advance Guard was in charge of Captain Lawler. Captain J. Byrne was in charge of the Body Guard which was composed entirely of sergeants while the rearguard was in charge of Lieut Mc Darby. There was a huge attendance of the general public present, and the coffin, which was draped with the Tri - colour, upon which was laid the dead soldier’s uniform and the football jersey which he wore when he received his fatal blow. The coffin was carried alternately by his old club mates of the G.A.A., and some of his old uniformed companions. The remains were placed in the nave of the Church and a Guard of Honour posted over them.

During his last hours he was attended by many of his old friends, with whom he conversed cheerfully. He died very bravely and happily as befitted a soldier of Ireland, and one of his last acts was to send for his old friend and companion, Willie Hogan, who was unfortunately and accidentally the cause of his regreted demise and tell him to cheer up and forget all about the accident, and that he was in no way responsible for anything that happened. Poor Hogan was terribly affected, as were indeed all who were in any way associated with poor “Buller.”

Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated at Graiguecullen Church on Wednesday, for the repose of his soul, and the funeral on Thursday, which was attended with full military honors, was one of the largest seen in Carlow for years. The Guards Band, I.R.A., Kilkenny, and Graiguecullen Band preceded the hearse. The interment took place in the Republican plot, St. Mary’s Cemetery, and the Last Post was sounded and three volleys fired over the grave as the remains were lowered.

The chief mourners were - Edward Haughney (Father) ; Mrs. Johanna Haughney (Mother) ; Martin and Michael Haughney (Brothers) ; Bridget, Katty, and Mollie Haughney, and Mrs. E. Shaw, Mrs. J. Doyle , and Mrs. A. Harte (Sisters) ; M. Doyle and E. Shaw (bothers - in - law) ; Michael Hogan, W. Hogan. J. Sleator, etc,. etc. Go ndeanaidh Dia trosaire ar n anam. The Rev. M. Bolger, P.P.; Rev. W. Fanning, C.C, and Rev J Dunny, C.C, officiated at the graveside.

The Late Sergeant Haughney.

The following letter has been sent for publication by the Secretary, Graiguecullen G.A.A. :-

Graiguecullen, July 3rd, 1922.

A Chara - Allow us to return our most sincere thanks to the Graiguecullen G.A.A. for their kindness and sympathy towards us in our recent trouble. It is but in keeping with the past record of the Graiguecullen footballers that they should act as true men in times of sorrow as well in times of victory.

In connection with poor “Buller’s” close friend Willie Hogan, we wish to state that no blame whatever attaches to him. If it had been the case that “Buller” had by accident inflicted a fatal injury on a near relative of Willie Hogan’s, we are sure that Willie himself would be the last man in the world to think anything the worse of “Buller” on that account. Our feeling in this matter are best expressed in the words used by out dear boy before he died. “Cheer up, Willie, and forget all about the accident. You are in no way responsible for anything that happened.”

Sinne, le mess mor,

The Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters of D. Haughney.


Dennis was only aged 26 years when he died in June 1922.
He was an uncle to Tom "the busyman" Haughney who in the 1930s / 40s played senior football for Laoise and was at one stage captain of the Laoise team.
Source: Michael Purcell c2007

Mike Haughney
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