Castlerea Destruction - Aug 1920

Castlerea Destruction - Aug 1920

The destruction of the town of Castlerea, county Roscommon on the night of 3 August 1920 caused a sensation throughout the county.

Eight men dressed in waterproof coasts and slouched hats, and without warning attacked three men who were standing on the footpath. Windows were smashed in many of the towns businesses and civilians were assaulted. One of the men assaulted, called Hanley, a shop assistant, were seriously injured. It was assumed that the disguised men belonged to the military or the police. When they reached the premises of a grocer, Joseph Carroll, they fired large stones at the windows, destroying them in the process. Several people sleeping in the premises managed to escape the attack by hiding under their beds. It was believed that the reason for the attack was that some of the shop assistants were members of the Sinn Fein organisation. Two of the men involved in the attack were identified as local RIC constables who were said to have been aggrieved that they were refused service in local shops as the boycotting of the police continued in the local area. The rampage it seems had the desired effect as later in August it was announced that shopkeepers in Castlerea decided to supply provisions to the police.


Source: Freemans Journal, 3 Aug. 1920, page 3

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