this week in history

  • IRA Sensational Attack Camp RIC Barracks - 19.February.1920

    IRA ATTACK CAMP RIC BARRACKS 19.FEBRUARY.1920

    IRA Attack Camp RIC Barracks Co. Kerry 19.February.1920

    The attack on Camp RIC barracks in County Kerry by the IRA caused a sensation locally and indicated the first withdrawal of the constabulary from the countryside. Carried out using rifles, revolvers, hand grenades and crowbars the IRA were intent not just on seizing weapons but on destroying the barracks.

    RIC Barracks attack Kerry

    Sergeant McDonagh and six police officers were present in the barracks and replied with rifle fire and grenades. Lasting over an hour the IRA succeeded in blowing a hole in the gable wall of the barracks and called on the RIC to surrender. McDonagh, who had been shot through the cheek ordered that no surrender would be made and returned fire immediately. The IRA then retreated and left guns and crowbars behind them. The police investigating the scene in the aftermath of the attack found two revolvers, one with a bullet mark, suggesting the holder of the gun had been hit. At least three IRA men were injured in the attack. As with all of the attacks on RIC barracks which had taken place to date in Ireland, the roads were torn up, trees were cut and blocked the road, while all methods of communication had been cut. In the days that followed a number of houses in Tralee were searched and indeed in early March raids were still being carried out in connection with the attack. A few days after the attack the police decided to abandon the building, took away all of their possessions and set fire to the shell of the barracks.

    Download Source: Kerryman, 21 February 1920, page 3.

    Kerryman February 21 1920 CAMP RIC BARRACKS ATTACK

    Kerryman 1904-current, Saturday, February 21, 1920

  • Ellen Morris Murder Fiendish Outrage - 17.February.1920

    Ellen Morris Murdered 17 february 1920

    Murder of Ellen Morris - Fiendish Outrage

    A ‘fiendish outrage’ was how the Belfast Newsletter described the murder of Ellen Morris in county Wexford in February 1920.

    elderly women small

    Aged 60 and a native of Glentine, Ballagh near Enniscorthy. Six masked men stormed the Morris house and when Morris took a spade to force the raiders out and one of the attackers pointed a revolver at her and shot her through the heart. A person in the house looked to go to get a priest but the raiders told them ‘no priest’ and that they were not to leave the house for two hours. The raid had been carried out on the house for arms and it was known locally that Morris had a son who was in the Royal Army Service Corps. The murder of Ellen Morris was met with revulsion locally in county Wexford and beyond. Members of the Ballagh Ancient Order of Hibernians, a nationalist fraternal organisation, provided a guard of honour at the funeral, which took place at Oulart, near Enniscorthy. Later in 1920, at the Wexford Assizes thirteen men were brought for trial and a man called John Lacy admitted firing the shot but pleaded that it was not intentional. While the case was being prepared for the assizes a number of statements were given to a police officer but he was later shot before the trial. Huge crowds were present at the trial and the prisoners were brought from Dublin to Rosslare by boat and under a heavily armed guard. Lacy, only eighteen years old, it was claimed panicked during the raid but was found guilty of murder.

    Download Source: Belfast Newsletter, 16 February 1920, page 5; See also Freeman’s Journal, 18 February 1920, page 4.

    free 1                                          Belfast Newsletter 1

  • Day of Outrage in Ireland - 16.February.1920

    Outrage in Ireland - 16.February.1920

    Throughout the month of February 1920, a number of outrages were committed across the country, the motives for which were not always clear.

    At Ballylongford, county Kerry a young man named Heaphy was shot through the shoulder as he left his house, the shot alleged to have been fired by a policeman. The injured man was removed to hospital in Limerick and said to have been in a precarious condition. In the same week, a soldier in Ballyshannon, county Donegal fired several rounds of his weapon in the air before being overpowered by other soldiers who took the gun from him. In county Westmeath, at a place called Tubber, a shot was fired through the window of a house, narrowly missing the occupant. Land was said to have been the issue in this incident. In Limerick City a man named James Dalton, who was employed in the Limerick Gas Works was fired at, as he made his way home from work. Four revolver shots were fired, one of which hit Dalton in the hand, fracturing a finger. Two men were observed in a lane way after the incident but made their escape, although one it was claimed had been identified. Dalton took an active part in the election of Eamon de Valera in East Clare and Count Plunkett in Roscommon. According to Dalton he had dismissed rumours concerning him in the Sinn Fein movement, but he had declined to bring slander charges. In light of the number of outrages across the country, it was little wonder that the Irish bishops in their Lenten Pastorals delivered the same week, called on people to desist from joining secret societies or carrying out these outrages.

    Download Source: Freemans Journal, 16 February 1920; Page: 3; See also Limerick Leader, 16 February 1920, page 3.

    Limerick Leader 1905-current Monday February 16 1920                              Freemans Journal 1763-1924 Monday February 16 1920

  • Drumcondra Train Attack - 13 February 1920

    Drumcondra Train Attack 14 February 1920

    The attack on a train at Drumcondra on 13 February 1920 highlighted both how daring and orgainsed IRA units had become. At 8.45pm a military train, with 47 wagons left the North Wall Railway Station bound for Athlone barracks in county Westmeath. The IRA, having received intelligence about the contents on-board the train lay in wait and looked to seize the arms, most of which were miniature rifles, which would have been ideal weapons for the guerrilla campaign, which was being waged. Taking no chances and indicating that they would be ruthless in their approach, at Newcomen Bridge the signalman Michael Geraghty was shot in his cabin as the train passed through. Another signalman, William Dunne was held up between Jones Road and Drumcondra station. About twenty IRA men took up a position at Gilford Place, while a similar number remained in the street with two motor cars. Neither car had lights or numbers and the attack was carried out under the cover of darkness. The military later confirmed that they could not see their attackers. When the train came to a halt at Drumcondra three bombs were thrown at the carriages followed by a number of revolver shots. Among the military, Lance Corporal Markely was injured from shrapnel caused by the explosion and was later taken to hospital. Two masked raiders climbed on to the train and gave orders for it to be backed up. It was unclear how many weapons, if any, had been taken by the IRA during the attack.

    Download Irish Examiner 1841-current, Monday, February 16, 1920

     Cork Examiner 16 February 1920 drumcondra train attack

  • Dr Lambert Parkwood House Bombed - 03.February.1920

    Cork Examiner 07.February.1920  Bomb attack

    Dr Lambert House Bomb Attack

    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.

    On Tuesday, 2nd of February 1920 the house of Dr. Lambert, Parkswood, was attacked with a number of bombs placed against the front of the house which exploded.

    The explosions were said to have caused widespread panic in the locality. Luckily, the residents escaped harm but the front windows of the house were shattered. It was claimed that robbery was the motive of the attackers, although it was unclear if the IRA were responsible. A number of sporting guns were present in the house, which was located in an isolated part of the county, about a quarter of a mile from Passage East. Lambert was the only member of the family present on this occasion, while an aged housekeeper was said to have been severely shocked by the attack. Some sources regarded simply as an act of ‘wanton blackguardism’. The Lambert’s had been resident at Parkswood for many years and indeed as far back as 1851 members of the family had assisted people in emigrating to America during the Great Famine. While the attack on Lambert’s house shocked the county it was quickly overshadowed by the attack on the RIC barracks at Ardmore, county Waterford later that month. Here the IRA broke into Foley’s public house opposite the barracks and began their long ‘fusilade’. Mr & Mrs Foley were said to have been terrified by the ambush which lasted over two hours but it was reported that the IRA had not touched anything in the public house during their stay. 

    Download Source:  Irish Examiner, February 07, 1920; Page: 8

    Irish Examiner 1841-current Saturday February 07 1920 page 1

    Irish Examiner 1841-current, Saturday, February 07, 1920

  • RIC Police Patrol Attacked & Aghern Barracks Targeted - 01.February.1920

    Aghern Barracks Attacked

    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.

    On 1 February 1920 the Belfast Newsletter newspaper reported that a ‘disgraceful outrage’ had taken place at the village of Aghern (Ahern), county Cork on the previous evening.

    Located some twenty miles from Cork the attack on a RIC police patrol was just one of many, which would occur during the early months of 1920 but the manner of the attack shocked many. On the previous evening while on patrol outside the village Sergeant Bradly, Constable Blanchfield and Constable Nagle were surrounded by upwards of thirty men who were armed and wearing disguises. After initially resisting capture, the three RIC men were overpowered and tied with ropes. The IRA then proceeded to take their weapons, ammunition and other items before leaving them bound together on the roadside. The police were said to have lay on the road in agony for more than three hours before the IRA returned and untied the men. They were warned not to follow them or make any attempt to arrest them. The police eventually crawled back to the barracks but it was a number of hours before the military arrived from Cork and a search of the countryside commenced. Buoyed by their success, just over two weeks later, on 16 February, the IRA mounted an attack on Aghern RIC barracks which was manned by the aforementioned policemen and their colleague's Constables Minogue, Mockler, O’Dea, and Dowling. For over an hour and a quarter, a ‘pretty lively fusillade’ of firing was kept up by both sides. One of the IRA men named Condon was injured in the attack and captured by the police. Condon was brought inside the barracks and a Red Cross ambulance from Fermoy was called. On the following day, he was brought to Cork and charged.

    Download Source Belfast Newsletter 01.February.1920 & Cork Examiner 17.February.1920

    belfast newsletter front page                                              Cork Examiner front page

  • 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

Items 21 to 30 of 66 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. ...
  7. 7