Sensational attack on Sergeant AM Sullivan K.C - 27.January.1920

Sergeant AM Sullivan K.C second attack

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.

Sergeant AM Sullivan K.C. Train Attacked 

On the 9 January 1920 a sensational attack occurred on Sergeant AM Sullivan K.C., one of the most distinguished people in county Kerry. The attack shocked the people of Tralee and further afield and was soon followed by the rounding up of a number of men who were suspected of involvement in the attack.

Although it was claimed that those responsible for the attack had been driven out of the locality they staged attack either to injure Sullivan or the rescue prisoners. Travelling on the Cork- Tralee train on 27 January Sullivan survived another attack when shots were fired at his carriage as it passed from Millstreet to Rathmore. Sullivan was on his way to give evidence in court in relation to the previous attack earlier that month. He was not injured but a detective accompanying him was injured by broken glass. It was not clear whether Sullivan was again targeted or whether the real objective was to rescue the eleven prisoners, against whom he would give evidence who were also onboard the train. Undeterred by the attack Sullivan would later give evidence that two men in particular, Leen and Sullivan, had been present at the 9 January attack. In these troubled times, it was with some degree of irony that some newspapers reported on the fact that Sullivan, a barrister, was the grandson of the man who had penned the famous Irish nationalist ballad ‘God Save Ireland’, while he himself had defended Roger Casement at his trial in 1916. Known as the ‘Last Sergeant’, Sullivan retired from the legal profession in 1949. He died in 1959.

Download Source: Irish Independent, 28 January 1920, page 5

Sergeant AM Sullivian Attacked Irish War of Independence

Irish Independent 1905-current, Wednesday, January 28, 1920