Hales, Thomas (Tom) (1892–1966), republican and TD, was born 5 March 1892 in Knocknacurra House, Ballinadee, Bandon, Co. Cork, sixth of nine children (five sons and four daughters) of Robert Hales, farmer, and his wife, Mary Fitzgerald, both from Co. Cork. He was educated at Ballinadee national school and Warner's Lane school, Bandon. After leaving school he worked at Harte's timber yard, Bandon. From his childhood he inherited a bedrock hatred of landlords, the Irish party, and British rule, as did his brothers Seán (qv), Bill, and Donal.
Tom Hales was associated with the Volunteer movement from its inception in November 1913. Elected a delegate at the Volunteer national convention in the Abbey Theatre in 1915, he was among the majority who voted for the election of the national executive, which included all the leaders executed after the 1916 rising. He was part of the Volunteer movement to assemble at Crookstown in preparation for the 1916 rising but the planned insurrection was countermanded on Easter Sunday. After the arrest of Tomás MacCurtain (qv) at the Hales residence in May 1916, he went on the run. He helped to organise the Volunteers in Cork, was elected commandant of the 1st (Bandon) battalion (1917–19), and commander of Cork 3rd brigade, IRA, in January 1919 with which he saw active service, notably the attack on Allihies RIC barracks on 12 February 1920. Arrested at Laragh, Bandon, by British forces on 20 July 1920, he was interrogated and tortured, to the extent that his mouth was severely damaged and his hands crippled. He had to spend a period in hospital before being tried and sentenced to two years’ penal servitude, which he served in Pentonville and Dartmoor prisons, being released in the general amnesty at Christmas 1921. He was OC of prisoners in Pentonville.
Elected to the anti-Treaty IRA executive in March 1922, he resigned in June over a proposal to prevent a general election. He resumed his old rank during the civil war when there was a divergence of loyalties between himself and his brother, Seán, but the brothers never openly criticised one another. Arrested in November 1922, he was detained in Cork prison and Harepark camp until Christmas 1924. He was co-opted to Cork county council on 9 January 1923, but did not stand in the June 1925 local elections and was again elected to the county council (1934–42). A member of the Mallow area board of the beet growers’ association from 1934 to 1942, he was also connected with other farming organisations. Elected as a Fianna Fáil TD for west Cork in 1933, he was the only member of the government party to vote against the imposition of sanctions on Italy in the Dáil in 1935. He resigned from Fianna Fáil in June 1936 because he could no longer reconcile his views with government internment policy. He was unsuccessful as an independent republican candidate in the 1937 and 1944 general elections, and as a Clann na Poblachta candidate in 1948. After this he retired from active politics and focused on family farming affairs. He married Ann Lehane from Tirelton, Macroom, on 30 April 1927; they had five children, Seán, Robert, Thomas, Eileen, and Margaret.
Hales died 29 April 1966 at St Finbarr's hospital, Cork, and is buried at St Patrick's cemetery, Bandon.