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