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