Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall Pulled Down - 28.February.1920

Anglo-Celt Ancient order of hibernian Clones outrgae

After a month of intense IRA activity across the country, the War of Independence continued unabated in February 1920. Becoming more daring in the process, the IRA continued to target the RIC and their barracks. Elsewhere, local issues and tensions would also surface, and in some cases they become embroiled in the struggle for Independence. February 1920 would be a month of chaos across the country.

Ancient Order of hibernians

In late February 1920 an incident in county Fermanagh indicated the various tensions which existed amongst the nationalist communities in certain parts of the country when a hall belonging to the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) was pulled down in the village of Aghadrumsna. The building, which had not yet been roofed, was due to be officially opened on St Patrick’s Day and a day of celebration surrounding it was at an advanced stage of preparation. The destruction of the building it was claimed was evidence of the ongoing tensions between the AOH and Sinn Fein, the latter group arguing that their own hall located in the same locality was the proper place for local nationalists to meet. A fraternal nationalist organisation, the AOH were part of the great cultural reawakening in the early twentieth century but after 1919 tensions arose owing to the militant nature of Irish nationalism. Some contemporary commentators claimed that the presence of the AOH, seen by many as the nationalist equivalent to the Orange Order, was fuelling sectarian tensions in Ireland. Nonetheless, in many parts of the country membership of the AOH and Sinn Fein often overlapped. The Fermanagh episode in February 1920 was not an isolated incident and in neighbouring county Monaghan this tension led to widespread violence amongst the two groups in 1920. Raids for arms were carried out on members of the AOH, halls were damaged and musical instruments taken and broken up. Before the end of the War of Independence three members of the AOH would be murdered in Monaghan.

Download Source  Anglo-Celt 1846-current, Saturday, February 28, 1920 page1

Anglo-Celt February 28 1920 page1

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