Midnight Reprisals - September 1920

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The tactic of attacking young women who were deemed to have committed a crime or associated in some way with the British military or the police, as we have seen in Frenchpark, county Roscommon occurred in other counties.

In county Galway a number of women were assaulted in this manner. At Eyre Square, for example in Galway city Miss Evelyn Baker of Baker’s Hotel was set upon by masked men in the hall of the hotel and her hair was sheared with some force. Baker’s crime was that she had recently given evidence at a military enquiry into the death of Constable Krumm on 8 September who had stayed in the premises. On the following night a party of masked and uniformed men in reprisal for the attack on Baker visited the houses of three other young women and cut off their hair. The raiders on this occasion called on a postman to identify the men who had attacked Miss Baker in the hotel but he was unable to help them. They then proceeded to attack girls who were from families known to have republican sympathies. These attacks provide examples of what Professor Linda Connolly describes as the traumatic experience of revolutionary periods when women’s bodies became battlefields in which war was fought. Many of these incidents were not reported for fear of further reprisal and so have been lost to history.

 

Source: Irish Independent 1905-current, 20.09.1920, page 5

 

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