Irish War of Independence - Day of Anarchy - 16.May.1920

Irish War of Independence


In what the Belfast Newsletter referred to as the ‘half century’ there were over fifty outrages reported by Dublin Castle on a single day in mid-May.


The disused military barracks in Mitchelstown, county Cork was destroyed by a group of twenty men. In counties Cork, Sligo, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Mayo, Meath, Cavan and Down – eleven in total. In county Down the burning of the RIC barracks at Laurencetown, near Banbridge highlighted the ingenuity of the raiding party who proceeded to raid three adjoining yards of petrol, paraffin oil and a large quantity of hay which they carried to the barrack to use in igniting the building. Such was the ferocity of the fire that a number of adjoining buildings were also damaged. At Bruff in county Limerick threatening notices were posting warning anyone from making compensation claims on the barracks which had been burned noting that they would be ‘marked men’ and would pay an ‘extreme penalty’. Likewise, anyone who dared to carry out repairs on the barracks would meet the same fate. Several cattle drives were reported and in county Tipperary W.R. Hickey of Galtee Castle was threatened that if he did not take his sheep off the Galtee Mountain he would be killed, informing him that British law no longer existed in Ireland. In county Cork a former soldier and then postman was threatneed with death if he did no give up his job as ‘ex-soldier’ were not welcome.


Download Source: Belfast Newsletter 1738-1938, 18.05.1920, page 5