Irish War of Independence - Sinn Fein in Ulster - 29.May.1920

Irish War of independence


While counties such as Cork, Clare and Tipperary were notorious by this stage in the War of Independence, there were other areas which there was intense IRA activity.


In May 1920 the work of ‘Sinn Fein in Ulster’ was reported in daily newspapers including the attack on the RIC between Crossdoney and Ballinagh in county Cavan. On their way to the fair of Crossdoney Sergeant WG Johnston and Constable Somerset were attacked by twelve armed and masked men In the same week the IRA in Loughbrickland, county Down isolated the village and burned the disused RIC barracks. The RIC barracks at Mayobridge, near Newry which had also been vacant for some time was also burned and completely destroyed. An attempt was also made to burn the barracks in Rostrevor, county Down for the second time but shortly after the blaze had been started the alarm was made by way of whistle and the residents succeeded in bringing the fire under control. On the same night 100 men occupied the village of Castlecaulfield in county Tyrone but the attack was largely repelled owing to the muster of men who were determined to prevent the destruction of the RIC barracks in the village. The attack it seems had been anticipated since the previous week when they arrival of a number of ‘strangers’ in the area suggested that an attack was imminent. As soon as the IRA party had set fire to the barracks they were fired on by a number of sentries who protected each house.


Download Source: Belfast Newsletter 1738-1938, Friday, May 28, 1920, page 7.