Irish Newspaper Archive

  • Shots Fired at Ball Roxborough House - 15.January.1920

    Roxborough House 13.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.

    In a serious escalation of the military operations carried out by the IRA, on 13 January 1920 country house owners and those associated with them became legitimate targets. On that evening as guests made their way to a ball at Roxborough House, near Loughrea, County Galway the home of Major Persse, shots were fired at those attending. The attackers it seemed were well informed of the plans of those traveling to the party when they took up position on both sides of every road leading to the house. Several cars were fired at and many of them were badly damaged in the process. At Moyvilla, near Athenry, the most exciting incident occurred when a party of officers from Renmore Camp who was making their way to the party were stopped by barricades on the road and then a ‘brisk fire’ ensued and the officers returned fire with pistols. After a few minutes, the attackers ceased their fire and made their escape through the fields. The officers removed the barricades from the road and continued on their way to Roxborough where they heard similar stories from those in attendance. At Athenry, a hired car belonging to Martin  O’Grady who had been interned during the 1916 Rising and its aftermath,  was fired at as he passed through the gates of the local rector’s house where he was collecting the rectors son and daughter for the ball at Persse’s. Going into the house more shots were fired at O’Grady and when he reemerged from the house fifteen minutes later the car ‘was completely dismantled’. Mrs. Lopdell of Raheen House was also attacked on her way but got through the barricades

    Roxborough House, where Lady Augusta Gregory was born and which belonged to her family, was later burned by the IRA in 1922.

    Download Source: Evening Telegraph, 16 Jan 1920

    Evening Telegraph 16.January.1920 download

  • Cattle Drive at Kilcairn and Liscarton - 14.01.2020

    14 January 1920 a large crowd gathered at the Murphy estate at Kilcairn

    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 sense of lawlessness prevailing in the Irish countryside could also be seen in the increase in cattle driving and other associated incidents, which affected many counties. Among these was county Meath where the grazier system was again targeted as it had been during the days of the United Irish League (UIL) in the early part of the twentieth century.

    On 14 January 1920 a large crowd gathered at the Murphy estate at Kilcairn, near Navan where they proceeded to drive off cattle belonging to two men named Brady and Clarke. Only for the intervention of the RIC the agitators would have succeeded in their plan. From their they intended to move to Follistown, about two miles away where another grazier farm had been identified. Earlier in the month a cattle drive took place at Liscarton, county Meath on the Cullen and George estates. On this occasion, those responsible broke gate piers and gates before they were disturbed by the estate herd.

    Following up on the Kilcairn cattle drive the police arrested four men who were said to be part of the Navan branch of the ‘Back to the Land’ Association. Before a special sitting of the court the four men were ordered to fund bail or receive a month in jail. They refused to pay bail and so were sent to Mountjoy. The escalation of cattle driving was to be a feature of the independence struggle as access to land became a concern for many people.

    Download Source: Meath Chronicle Archive 

    Meath Chronicle 1897-current, Saturday, January 17, 1920 

    Meath Chronicle 1897-current, Saturday, January 10, 1920

    Meath Chronicle 1897-current Saturday January 17 1920 reduced            Meath Chronicle 1897-current Saturday January 10 1920

  • 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

  • Carrigtwohill Barracks Attacked RIC Surrender - 03.January.1920

    Carrigtwohill Barracks Attack

    Photo: Illustrated fro London News, 10 January 1920 Article insert Ulster Herald www.irishnewsarchives.com

    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.

    During early January 1920 the area around Carrigtwohill in county Cork was thrown into disarray and flooded with military personal after an IRA attack on the RIC in the village. On 3 January the IRA carried out a daring and intense attack on the RIC barracks in Carrigtwohill which lasted more than four hours. Just after 10pm some 300 men surrounded the barracks shattering the gable of the building with explosives. Earlier in the evening, a large body of men had arrived in the village on unlighted bicycles an indication that something was imminent. It was part of a night of intense IRA activity in the county when three barracks in the area were attacked. The sensational attack was kept up for almost four hours as there was little fear of military reinforcements arriving. Telegraph and telephone wires in the village had been cut to prevent communication. Only when they began to run low on ammunition did the IRA decide to approach the barracks. At this stage the RIC surrendered without a further fight. Capturing the six RIC men who were defending the barracks, they were handcuffed them with their own handcuffs and told not to move until daylight or the punishment was that they would be shot. When the attack was over every window of the barracks had been smashed. The IRA then took rifles, bicycles and other items from the barracks. They also took money from some of the RIC including £55 from Constable Shea; Constable Sullivan had £60 taken from him; while others had jewelry and gold watches taken. The wife of one of the constables was taken hostage to another building and money was taken from her. In the days that followed an intense search of the surrounding countryside was carried out by the military.

    Download Source: Ulster Herald, 10 Jan 1920

    Ulster Herald 09.January.1920 Barracks attacked

  • barracks at Castlehackett Attacked 08.January.1920

    Castlehackett Barracks county Galway

    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.

    Late on the night of the 8 January 1920 the RIC barracks at Castlehackett, county Galway was attacked by the IRA, who it was reported numbered over 100 men. Sergeant Higgins was in the room near the gable of the barrack when he heard a noise from a window underneath. Almost immediately, shots were fired into the room and he was hit by pellets. The attackers located behind a ditch ceased firing shouting ‘will ye surrender now’. The police refused to accept surrender and returned fire. Some two miles away while on duty Constables Keogh, McDermott, Cregg and Glancy heard the firing and an explosion of a bomb. Taking a shortcut through the fields, they came to the barracks by the rear and began to fire on the attackers. The police tried in vain to apprehend some of the attackers and their searches continued until daylight.

    In his Military Witness Statement made in 1955, John Conway recalled the decision to attack the RIC barracks at Castlehackett at Christmas time, when it was believed the police would be ‘lax’ and not expecting a raid. Remarkably, a decision was taken not to attack the barrack on 6 January as it was a holy night and so it was deferred to the following day. According to Conway the IRA numbered about fifty men made of up from two companies, which was half the RIC estimate of those present. Led by Michael Walsh, who was armed with a Russian rifle, the volunteers assembled at a limekiln about 400 metres from the barrack. Although gelignite had been laid at the barrack it failed to damage the building and so after more than five hours of gunfire, the IRA retreated.

    Download Source: Freeman’s Journal, 10 January 1920, page 1

    Evening Telegraph Castlehackett Barracks attacked

  • 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

  • Mullingar Three Cars Shot - 03.January.1920

    New Year’s Day 1920 proved to be a sensational evening in Mullingar

    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 100th anniversary of this aspect of the campaign, this month we offer stories about the conflict as reported by the newspapers of the day.

    New Year’s Day 1920 proved to be a sensational evening in Mullingar, County Westmeath when shots were fired at a number of cars as opposition to the introduction of Motor Permits intensified across the country. While nobody was seriously injured in the Mullingar attacks, the cars were badly damaged and it threatened those in the hackney business and private car owners in the county. In November 1919 the British government introduced Motor Permits in Ireland which meant that a vehicle could only be driven with a permit in an effort to curtail the activities of the IRA and in transporting weapons. The permits were hugely resented and motor unions went on strike, where they were joined in protest by other groups and unions. This armed opposition towards the permits was largely orchestrated by local IRA units who would intensify their campaign as 1920 dawned.

    In Mullingar, the New Year’s Day incidents started at Clongowny, about two miles from the town when Capt. Batten, a director of the Mullingar Motor Company, and Capt. Bayley was fired at when they returned from the races. The back of the car was riddled in the attack, with Capt. Bayley suffering slight wounds to his ear. Near the same place a car belonging to Daly Brothers of Mullingar, and driven by a man named Brodar, was fired at as it returned to the town. Brodar was shot in the elbow but was able to continue onwards. Similar attacks took place at Lynn, near Mullingar including an attack on a man called Jack Foran. It was later stated that the attacks had been carried out not on individuals but on the cars and that, Mullingar had been ‘exceptional’ in complying with the new permit order.

    Elsewhere, motor owners suffered a similar fate as opposition to the permits continued. In January 1920 motor cars at the fair of Fermoy in County Cork were damaged after a number of armed men checked whether the owners had permits with them. By the middle of February the Motor Union strike petered out but the permits remained and continued to cause problems for both the IRA and the civilian population throughout the War of Independence.

    Download Source: Irish Independent, 3 January 1920, page 5

    Irish Civil war Irish Independent 03.January.1920

  • 1961 Telefís Éireann Launch - 31.December.1961

    1961 Telefís Éireann

    On this day in 1961 Telefís Éireann began broadcasting for the first time. It might seem strange in the present world but in the lead, up to the opening of Telefís Éireann in 1961 there was widespread opposition to the coming of television in Ireland.

    Those who didn’t oppose it were skeptical and fearful of the change that it might bring about. With this in mind Eamon Andrews, Chairman of the Irish Television Authority addressed these fears. Speaking at the Ninth Annual Summer School of the Irish Franciscans at Gormonston, county Meath Andrews allayed fears that television would result in the breakdown of rural communities. Instead, he argued that they would find ‘a happy place’ with television and that it would not result in ‘breeding a new race of square-eyed monsters’. The new television station would embrace religion and the Irish language, and that despite the claim that it would only show immorality and brutality, Andrews was confident that it would be a ‘home maker’ more than a ‘home breaker’. Originally intended to broadcast for the first time on Christmas Day 1961, six days later the opening address was given by the President of Ireland, Eamon de Valera, who himself had been openly critical and wary of the impact of television. Speaking to the nation de Valera remarked that:

    Never before was there in the hands of men an instrument so powerful to influence the thoughts and actions of the multitude... I have great hopes of this new service. I am confident that those who are in charge will do everything in their power to make it useful for the nation. And that they will bear in mind that we are an old nation and that we have our own distinctive characteristics and that it is desirable that these should be preserved. I am sure that they will do their part. And as I have said it is for the public now to do theirs.

    Download Source: Meath Chronicle 1897-current, Saturday, August 26, 1961; Page: 3

    Meath Chronicle RTE 31.December.1961

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