this week in history

  • 40 Men on Hunger Strike Cork Gaol - 10 January 1920

    Cork Jail January 1920 Forty men on hunger strike

    In January 1920 the War of Independence intensified with the IRA carrying out a number of offensives in almost every county. To mark the anniversary of this aspect of the campaign, this month we offer stories about the conflict as reported by the newspapers of the day.

    One hundred years ago this week, some forty men commenced a hunger strike in Cork Gaol, a tactic which was to be adopted by Irish republicans over several generations. On this occasion, the hunger strikers consisted of two groups of men- those who had been tried and those untried but held since their incarceration. In early 1920 tension in the gaol increased following a number of attacks on the RIC and their barracks throughout county Cork. In particular, an attack on the RIC in Fermoy was said to have angered those in charge of the prison. As a result, one of the prisoners John J. Horgan was removed from the remainder of the group for no apparent reason. In protest to this treatment, Horgan began a hunger strike on Saturday night and was joined the following Monday morning by the rest of the ‘untried’ prisoners, numbering between them 16-20 people. Later that day the twenty ‘tried’ men also commenced a hunger strike. Later that week, in an effort to highlight their plight they were visited by Alderman Kelleher who found them to be ‘cheery and well’ with the exception of Horgan and Hennessey who were too ill and were in bed. While this hunger strike did not claim any victims, later in 1920 volunteers Mick Fitzgerald and Joe Murphy died in Cork gaol. There were other hunger strikes during the War of Independence including at Easter 1920 when more than fifty men in Mountjoy gaol refused food. Perhaps the most celebrated hunger striker during this period was Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, who died after 74 days on hunger strike in October 1920.

    Download Source:  Killarney Echo/ South Kerry Chronicle, 10 January 1920

    KIllarney Echo and South Kerry Chronicle 1899-1920 Saturday January 10 1920

  • Drumlish RIC Barracks Attacked 06.January.1920

    Drumlish Barracks attacked 08.January.1920

    In January 1920 the War of Independence intensified with the IRA carrying out a number of offensives in almost every county. To mark the anniversary of this aspect of the campaign, this month we offer stories about the conflict as reported by the newspapers of the day.

    In early January 1920 an attack took place on Drumlish RIC barracks in county Longford which it was said, caused great excitement both in the village and throughout the county, and displayed how well coordinated and efficient IRA units had become. Lasting about fifteen minutes the IRA used explosives and rifles in an effort to destroy the barracks and take the arsenal which was present. In the aftermath of the attack bullet marks on the walls and smashed windows were evidence of the scale of the attack. Elsewhere, on the square there were two large holes in the ground, apparently made by bombs. It was a well-coordinated attack with, armed and masked men parading through the street ensuring that no one intervened. In advance of the attack several trees were cut on the roads leading to the adjoining areas and people going to early mass on the following  morning had to remove these obstacles in order to proceed.  The road leading from Ballinalee to Longford was also blocked by trees indicating that every preparation was made to prevent the military from arriving during the attack. Coving stones from a bridge on the Edgeworthstown to Mullingar road were also used to block the road. However, armed military soon arrived from Longford in an effort to help the RIC begin the clean-up and to search the countryside. The military took possession of the barrack in an effort to prevent it falling into enemy hands. In the follow up searches throughout the Drumlish area one rifle was uncovered but no arrests were made by the police. The following morning, speaking at mass, Rev Neville PP condemned the attack but public opinion in Drumlish would soon come to support such action against the police and the military in the area.

    Download Source Irish Independent & Cork Examiner 08.January.1920

    Irish E      Irish Independent 08.January.1920 Barracks attacked

  • Woodpark House Attacked 05.January.1920

    Woodpark House, near Scariff in county Clare firing several shots into the house

    In January 1920 the Irish War of Independence intensified with the IRA carrying out a number of offensives in almost every county. To mark the anniversary of this aspect of the campaign, this month we offer stories about the conflict as reported by the newspapers of the day.

    On the night of the 5 January 1920, in one of the earliest attacks on a country house during the War of Independence, a large party of men attacked Woodpark House, near Scariff in county Clare firing several shots into the house. Woodpark was the home of R.F. Hibbert, a local Justice of the Peace and magistrate, who managed to fight off his attackers on this occasion. According to Hibbert in the course of defending the house he managed to shoot one of the attackers but the course of the exchange of fire, the terrified house staff huddled for safety and a lady’s maid was injured in the cross. To the IRA, Hibbert’s occupation was detestable and from the beginning of 1920, on a countrywide basis, they began to target country houses for sporting guns and other ammunition that might be suitable to their ongoing campaign. Country house owners began to take precautions and in county Clare the landowner O’Callaghan Westropp would publish a guide to the protection of such property. However, given the isolated location of many country houses, it was almost impossible to prevent attacks and many abandoned or quit their homes during this period hoping that the trouble would soon pass. During the period 1920-1923 almost 300 country houses were destroyed by arson by the IRA and agrarian agitators, while scores more were attacked, looted and their owners forced to sell or abandon their properties. The year 1920 would mark the beginning of the end for many Irish country house owners

    Download Source: Irish Independent, 7 January 1920, page 6

    Download Source: Evening Telegraph , 7 January 1920, page 1

     

    Evening Telegraph 07. January.1920 Scariff House         Irish Independent  07. January.1920 Scariff House

  • Clare Ambush Police Use Hand Grenades 04.January.1920

    Kerryman archive 10.January.1920

    In January 1920 the Irish War of Independence intensified with the IRA carrying out a number of offensives in almost every county. To mark the anniversary of this aspect of the campaign, this month we offer stories about the conflict as reported by the newspapers of the day.

    The month of January 1920 would mark an upsurge in attacks on the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), the police force, but few were as daring as that carried out on the evening of 3 January in county Clare. On that evening, an attack took place at Ballyalliban, about five miles from the village of Ballyvaughan in north county Clare as the RIC provided an escort for a farmer in the locality. Ambushed from both sides of the road, it took them by complete surprise. Intense fire from both sides of the road then ensued and lasting a number of minutes. Overwhelmed by the fire of the IRA and in an effort to stave off the attack, the police decided to throw hand grenades, which it was later claimed was the first time they had been used in county Clare. It was not clear what damage this done to their attackers, but one of the police, Constable Slattery was wounded in the back and the shoulder during the shootout. By a stroke of misfortune, Dr Keane of Ennistymon workhouse was also injured in the attack when his motor car was fired at when he passed the scene of the ambush. Keane was lucky to survive and was later treated for injuries to his arm, which was completely shattered. The official report to the military authorities in Dublin Castle noted that a ‘brisk fusillade’ had taken place in county Clare between the police and their attackers but the attack was significant in that it represented a change in IRA tactics and which would see them openly confront the police and the military as 1920 wore on.

    Download Source: Kerryman, 10 January 1920, page 2

    kerryman 10 January 1920 Clare Ambush

    #1920 #Ambush #History

  • Mullingar Three Cars Shot - 03.January.1920

    New Year’s Day 1920 proved to be a sensational evening in Mullingar

    In January 1920 the Irish War of Independence intensified with the IRA carrying out a number of offensives in almost every county. To mark the 100th anniversary of this aspect of the campaign, this month we offer stories about the conflict as reported by the newspapers of the day.

    New Year’s Day 1920 proved to be a sensational evening in Mullingar, County Westmeath when shots were fired at a number of cars as opposition to the introduction of Motor Permits intensified across the country. While nobody was seriously injured in the Mullingar attacks, the cars were badly damaged and it threatened those in the hackney business and private car owners in the county. In November 1919 the British government introduced Motor Permits in Ireland which meant that a vehicle could only be driven with a permit in an effort to curtail the activities of the IRA and in transporting weapons. The permits were hugely resented and motor unions went on strike, where they were joined in protest by other groups and unions. This armed opposition towards the permits was largely orchestrated by local IRA units who would intensify their campaign as 1920 dawned.

    In Mullingar, the New Year’s Day incidents started at Clongowny, about two miles from the town when Capt. Batten, a director of the Mullingar Motor Company, and Capt. Bayley was fired at when they returned from the races. The back of the car was riddled in the attack, with Capt. Bayley suffering slight wounds to his ear. Near the same place a car belonging to Daly Brothers of Mullingar, and driven by a man named Brodar, was fired at as it returned to the town. Brodar was shot in the elbow but was able to continue onwards. Similar attacks took place at Lynn, near Mullingar including an attack on a man called Jack Foran. It was later stated that the attacks had been carried out not on individuals but on the cars and that, Mullingar had been ‘exceptional’ in complying with the new permit order.

    Elsewhere, motor owners suffered a similar fate as opposition to the permits continued. In January 1920 motor cars at the fair of Fermoy in County Cork were damaged after a number of armed men checked whether the owners had permits with them. By the middle of February the Motor Union strike petered out but the permits remained and continued to cause problems for both the IRA and the civilian population throughout the War of Independence.

    Download Source: Irish Independent, 3 January 1920, page 5

    Irish Civil war Irish Independent 03.January.1920

  • Who was St. Patrick ?

    Who was Saint Patrick ? This is a question that could easily be asked with many different answers, most lightly many of the answers would contain; snakes and a drum! However this same question has been asked for centuries and through the archives I find the answer contained in the Cork Examiner 11th March 1893.  You can download the page from The Cork Examiner 11 March 1893 Page 12 below:

    Cork Examiner 11 March 1893 Who was St Patrick

    The journalist who wrote the article has a little bit of fun stopping a local man and questioning his reason for wearing the shamrock on the 17th March and asking "who was St. Patrick ?" Continue Reading

  • Michael Collins Letter Fetches €28,000 at auction 21.02.2003

    On the 21st Of February 2003 a letter signed by Michael Collins, written on his return from London went on auction. Michael Collins letter was estimated to fetch up to €8,000.00 but sold for €26,500.00 to a mystery private collector.

    Download the articles below from the Irish Examiner & The Irish Independent dated the 22.02.2003 reporting on the auction.

    Michael Collins letter fetches 28,000 euro

    Michael Collins Letters was a three-page document sent to prominent Derry republican Louis J Walsh in 1922, telling him about his opposition to the Northern Ireland border. Replying to a letter from Walsh, Collins outlined his position regarding negotiations with Winston Churchill and unionist leader James Craig. Continue Reading

  • British Embassy Burned after Derry's Bloody Sunday killings

    A wave of petrol bombings and burnings hit Dublin last night in reaction to the Derry's Bloody Sunday killing of 13 civilians.

    News Pages from 02 February 1972

    As the Irish Republic tries to come to terms with the death of 13 civilians in Derry's Bloody Sunday angry protests turn to violence.  Read the events from today 45 years ago and download 3 of the Nations Leading daily newspapers to view the reaction from Ireland  and the world to the shooting of 13 civilians. Download pages Below:

    British Embassy on fire in Dublin February 1972

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  • Jay Michael Cashman tie the knot with his film producer Christy Jean Scott 01.02.1999

    31.01.1999 Jay Cashman and Christy Jean Scott tie the knot in extreme style. The picturesque village of Adare, Co. Limerick, provided the ideal setting for a wedding befitting a king or queen at the weekend.

    Irish American business tycoon, Jay Michael Cashman (45) from Boston, splashed out a reported £250,000 to tie the knot with his film producer sweetheart, Christy Jean Scott (25), in a glittering ceremony performed in the 15th century ruined Franciscan Abbey on Saturday. It was also an historic occasion as it was the first wedding in the abbey located on the grounds of Adare Manor Golf Club in 500 years!

    Download the Irish Examiner  01st February 1999 to relive this day in history:

    Jay Michael Cashman splashes out a reported £250,000

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  • Luke Kelly Dies 30 January 1984 The soul of the Dubliners

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