Daly, James Joseph (1899/1900–1920), Connaught Rangers mutineer, was born at the home of his maternal grandmother in Ballymoe on the Galway–Roscommon border, fourth son of James Daly, former British soldier and baker, and Katherine Daly (née Crean). He returned to the family home at Tyrellspass, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, as a young child. At the outbreak of war in 1914 his father and three brothers joined the army, and Daly later ran away to do likewise, lying about his age to enlist. His mother successfully petitioned the war office for his release on the grounds that he was under age on enlistment. He returned home in 1917 but, determined to follow a military career, reenlisted in the 1st Battalion of the Connaught Rangers (April 1919) and was sent to India.
In June 1920 stories of Black and Tan atrocities in Ireland began to reach the Irish soldiers stationed in India. On 27 June some of the Connaught Rangers based at Jullundur refused to report for duty in protest. Daly's elder brother William was initially involved in this protest but later abandoned it. Two days later the troops at Solon, Daly's station, refused to parade. Daly, contacted by emissaries from Jullundur, quickly emerged as the leader of this group and led a party of soldiers to the officers' mess that evening to demand the withdrawal of British troops from Ireland. On the evening of 1 July he led an attack on the camp magazine in an attempt to seize weapons, and two men were killed. The following morning a detachment of the South Wales Borderers arrived and arrested the Solon mutineers. A total of sixty-nine Connaught Rangers were subsequently court-martialled, and only seven acquitted; Daly and thirteen others were sentenced to death, but his was the only death sentence confirmed and carried out. He was shot by a firing squad on the morning of 2 November 1920 at Dagshai prison and his body buried in the prison grounds. The remaining mutineers were released and repatriated in February 1923, and a campaign began to secure recognition from the Irish government, which eventually provided financial support under the Connaught Rangers (Pensions) Act, 1936 (amended 1949, 1957). A cenotaph to the mutineers was unveiled in Glasnevin cemetery (June 1949) and a memorial to Daly was erected in Tyrellspass (August 1970). After lengthy negotiations the bodies of Daly and the two men killed in the magazine attack were flown to Ireland (30 October 1970) and his remains were reinterred at Tyrellspass (1 November 1970) with much ceremony. The execution of Private Daly was the subject of Len Deighton's short story ‘Twelve good men and true’ in Declarations of war (1971).