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