Streamstown July 1920

Streamstown July 1920

One of the most daring attacks of the Irish War of Independence was carried out in late July 1920 when more than sixty armed men stormed the RIC barracks in the village of Streamstown, county Westmeath.

The constabulary were completely overwhelmed being only eight in number, three of home were apprehended returning from Divine Service where they were stripped of the weapons and uniform. What made the attack so daring was the fact that the raiders were not masked (as reported in some newspapers) but instead dressed in police uniform. Casually knocking on the door the raiders were refused entry. The building was then surrounded and raked with gun fire. When the occupants of the barracks refused to surrender fire was kept up for another hour. The roof of the building was riddled with bullets and bombs, but sensing reinforcements and having heard the noise of aero planes overheard the raiders withdrew. That night the barracks was evacuated. One policeman was injured in the shooting but there was no further injuries sustained. Four bicycles were found by the RIC after the attack indicating that some had travelled a distance to take part in the attack. This was a daring attack carried out in broad daylight just after noon but few civilians were present, obviously forewarned by the IRA. The demise of the barracks strengthened the IRA’s grip on the Westmeath countryside and therefore the Streamstown attack was widely celebrated.


Source: Westmeath Independent 1848-current, 31.07.1920, page 5


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