Fact of the week

  • Irish war of Independence - Agitation For Land - 27.May.1920

     Irish War of Independence


    May 1920 ended with a number of crimes and outrages committed as part of ongoing land disputes throughout the country.


    In Ballinrobe county Mayo the first Dail Eireann Land Court had met in May presided over by Arthur O’Connor and Kevin O’Sheil. One of the first cases before them involved nine people from Kilmaine who sought the division of land owned by the Magdalene Asylum in Galway. Every hope was displayed that they could come to an agreement and that it would be done speedily. However, towards the end of the month land disputes in other parts of the country were no so amicable. In county Clare shots were fired into the home of an elderly farmer named Thomas Killeen at Inch, near Ennis. Injuring Killeen, but not seriously, the attack was said to have had its origins in a land dispute. Likewise, at Lisdoonvarna the home of John Kerin was attacked and shots fired which wounded him in the chest and abdomen. These incidents occurred at the time when Brian O’Higgins, a founding member of the Irish Volunteers in 1913 was actively trying to organise republican courts in county Clare. Significantly, O’Higgins claimed that many of the claims for land in the county were ‘frivolous and unjust, and without foundation’ and called on the people to put trust in Dail Eireann to settle all aspects of the land question. Those who continued to send threatening letters and use violent methods would be doing so in opposition to the Dail and would have to forfeit any claim to the land.



    Download Source: Freemans Journal 1763-1924, 27.05.1920, page 5


    FreemansJournal_27May_Thumbnail FreemansJournal_27May1920_page5


  • Irish War of Independence - Five hour Siege - 28.May.1920

    Irish War of Independence

    After a month of outrages perpetrated against individuals and families, the five hour siege to attack RIC barracks throughout the county. When it was over three people were dead;


    Sergeant Thomas Kane and Constable Joseph Morton and of the IRA attacking party, Liam Scully. Over 100 IRA men took part in the attack, one of the largest operations of the conflict and were ably supported in the process by the women of Cummann na MBan. Occurring in the early hours of the morning of the 28 May, continuous rifle fire and exploding grenades filled the air for almost five hours. Calling on the policemen to surrender, the IRA at first showed leniency but once they declined to do so, the battle commenced. Learning from the attack on RIC barracks in other counties, including in county Kilkenny, the IRA took positions in neighbouring houses and used this advantage to throw petrol and paraffin bombs down upon the RIC through the roof. The defenders of the barracks, who numbered ten in total, were praised for their valiant defence of the building which they succeeded in holding despite the best efforts of the IRA. No doubt it revived memories in the village of the attack on the barracks during the 1867 Fenian Rising and from which the police force earned the title ‘Royal’. The official number of RIC in the barracks has often been disputed (some suggested that as many as 28 policemen were present), but nonetheless it was seen as a victory for the police on this occasion.



    Download Source: Irish Examiner 1841-current, 29.05.1920, page 5


    CorkExam_28thmayThumbnail Cork_Examinerpage5



  • Clare Milltown-Malbay 14th April 1920 RIC shot into crowd.

     Clare Tragedy Bombs thrown into crowd April 1920 started with the largest scale IRA activity to date in the War of Independence with the systematic targeting of abandoned RIC barracks and other buildings. It was a month during which the issue of Irish independence would be brought to an international audience, while it continued to be time of terror in Ireland. The RIC remained the open target of the IRA, but on a number of occasions in April the RIC would claim victory. Elsewhere, land related issues continued to flare as anarchy set in across the country.

    Milltown-Malbay 14th April 1920 RIC and the military shot into a crowd.

    It was a month of terror in county Clare, none more so than at Milltown-Malbay on the 14 April when a group of RIC and the military shot into a crowd who were celebrating the release of prisoners' release from Mountjoy jail, killing three people and wounding nine others. Gathered around a lit tar barrel to celebrate the release of the Mountjoy hunger-strikers, the crowd were fired after being warned to disperse. The dead included Patrick Hennessy, a 30-year-old small farmer from Miltown Malbay and a father of two; John O’Loughlin, an unmarried tailor from Ennistymon; and Thomas Leary, 33, a married father of 10 children from Miltown Malbay. Naturally, there was widespread revulsion at the killings. In the House of Commons, TP O’Connor rebuked the British government for the actions of the police and soldiers. In the wake of the attack, the Bishop of Killaloe, Michael Fogarty, condemned the incident but called for calm. Writing to Fr Hannon, PP of Miltown Malbay, the bishop expressed:

        ‘Universal sorrow at slaughter of your helpless and inoffensive people. I tender my deepest sympathy to you and friends and victims. Please exhort people in my name to exercise self-control in spite of provocation’.

    The scenes witnessed at the funerals, it was said, would live long in the memory of the people of Clare.

    Download Source: Irish Independent 1905-current, Monday, April 19, 1920; Page: 5

    Another Appalling Clare Tragedy - Police thorw bombs into crowd

  • Sergeant Patrick Finnerty was shot - 15.April.1920

    Sergeant Finnerty Shot Dead

    April 1920 started with the largest scale IRA activity to date in the War of Independence with the systematic targeting of abandoned RIC barracks and other buildings. It was a month during which the issue of Irish independence would be brought to an international audience, while it continued to be time of terror in Ireland. The RIC remained the open target of the IRA, but on a number of occasions in April, the RIC would claim victory. Elsewhere, land-related issues continued to flare as anarchy set in across the country.

    In mid-April 1920 a large crowd of Sinn Fein demonstration at Balbriggan county Dublin was under the careful watch of the RIC. The Republican gathering was to celebrate the release of hunger strikers from Mountjoy jail some days previously. As the crowd began to move down Clonard Street and as the police looked on, Sergeant Patrick Finnerty was shot. A military inquest would later reveal that he had been shot by a revolver. Lingering for two days, Finnerty died in the Mater Hospital. Aged 51, Finnerty was unmarried and had given over twenty-five years of service to the RIC. Given evidence, his fellow officers stated that they had not seen the assassin and that visibility was poor owing to the darkness and heavy rainfall. They were praised for their calmness in the situation and no fire was returned. In his book, We Bled Together: Michael Collins, The Squad and the Dublin Brigade, Dominic Price recounts the killing of Finnerty as told by Captain John Gaynor, of the Balbriggan Company of the 1st Battalion Fingal Brigade who fired the fatal shot. According to Gaynor he anticipated that Finnerty would try and remove a tricolour flag which was on display. In his own words: ‘Finnerty made a dash to seize the flag, which was in the center of the procession. I immediately pulled a revolver from my pocket and dropped him’.  Patrick Finnerty was buried in his native Athenry,  County Galway.

    Download Source: Belfast Newsletter, 19 April 1920, page 5; See also Irish Examiner, April 17, 1920; Page: 11

    Belfast Newsletter 1738-1938, Monday, April 19, 1920                                       Irish Examiner 1841-current, Saturday, April 17, 1920

    Irish Examiner 1841-current, Saturday, April 17,

    1920 Belfast Newsletter 1738-1938, Monday, April 19, 1920

  • Formation of the GAA - 01st.November.1884

    Michael Cusack Formation of GAA 01.November.1884
    On 1 November 1884, a small and somewhat innocuous meeting took place in Thurles, County Tipperary attended only by a handful of men. However, from these humble beginnings would result the largest sporting organisation in Ireland today. Played in every village and town in the country, the formation of the Gaelic Athletic Association can be traced to this ‘meeting of athletes and friends of athletes’ at Miss Hayes’ Commercial Hotel, Thurles. Gathered there this small group of men, led by Maurice Davin and Michael Cusack, were determined to provide ‘amusements’ for ‘Irish people during their leisure hours’ and form an organisation for the cultivation of our national pastimes which by this time were said to have been ‘dead and buried’ and ‘in several localities to be entirely forgotten’.
    This initial meeting was poorly attended when several of the important athletic clubs in the south of Ireland did not send representatives. Much of the early worries were about how they would finance the movement but these considerations were soon side-lined when the delegates present spoke of their enthusiasm for such an organisation. One delegate queried ‘why should we not have athletic festivals like other people- I mean on a national scale’, while another complained that Irish affairs were constantly dictated to by Englishmen. For the record Other founding members present were John Wyse-Power, John McKay, J.K. Bracken, Joseph O’Ryan and Thomas St George McCarthy. By the end of the decade, the GAA had sprung to life and would lead the great cultural reawakening, which would define the next fifty years of Irish society.
    Today, the GAA has over 2,200 clubs in all thirty-two counties of Ireland and has close to 500,000 members worldwide. It is part of the Irish consciousness and plays an influential role in Irish society that extends far beyond the basic aim of promoting the playing of Gaelic games.

    #GAA, #History, #Ireland

    Source Newspaper: www.irishnewsarchive.com - Irish Examiner, 3 November 1884
    Photo By Unknown - NUI Galway Digital Collections, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69710947

  • First Divorce Granted in Ireland 17.January.1997

  • All - Ireland Final Mayo V Dublin

    All - Ireland Final 2016

    Dublin V Mayo All Ireland Final 1923, 2013 and 2016

    After last weeks draw between Mayo and Dublin in the All Ireland final we will have to wait to see who owns the Sam Maguire Cup 2016! The match is due to be replaid on the 01.October.2016.

    This is the third time Mayo and Dublin have met in the All - Ireland final.

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  • Roger Casement Execution

    Casement Execution 03.August.1916

    Today we remember one of Ireland's great heros. On the 03 August 1916; Roger Casement was executed for his role in the 1916 Easter Rising. The last Rebel leader to be executed for the 1916 rebellion. From our archives I have selected the Evening Herald's front page.  Read below for an extract from the Evening Herald 03 August 1916 and download the full page below:
    Roger Casement Execution 03 August 1916

    Evening Herald 03.August.1916 Extract:

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  • Independence Day Fourth of July

    Independence Day Fourth of July

    The 4th of July is America's Independence day and on this day in 1776 the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence which declared that the thirteen American colonies regard themselves as a new nation, the United States of America and that they were no longer ruled by the British Empire. 

    To mark this great day history we offering 50% OFF monthly and annual membership use Coupon Code : 1916FB   See below for FREE Front pages downloads for JFK / NIXON / REAGAN AND BARACK OBAMA'S Irish tours. 

    USA Independence Day

    Irish - American

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  • Roger Casement committed to trial 18 May 1916

    Sir Roger Casement was committed to trial to face Treason

    Casement and Bailey High Treason trial 18.05.1916

    Extract Cork Examiner 18 May 1916 Roger Casement Committed

    After an investigation of only three days the charge of high treason against Sir Roger Casement and the Irish ex-soldier, Daniel Julian Bailey, concluded as far as the Police Court stage is concerned this afternoon with their committal for trial before the Lord Chief Justice. The proceedings ended quite uneventfully, and naturally after Sir John Dickinson had spent the day hearing the statements of a number of witnesses whose evidence was necessary to complete the case for the Crown Continue Reading

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