Wednesday, October 13, 2010

90 Years Ago This Week

Regular readers of Gubu World will know that I have a great interest in 20th Century history. Hence my regular posts entitled 70 Years Ago Today which detail the events that occurred on the 70th anniversary of World War Two. Readers will also know that I have a keen interest in the turbulent years surrounding the foundation of the Irish state from 1916 to 1923 which include, the 1916 Easter rebellion, the 1919 to 1921 War of Independence (or Anglo Irish War) and the 1922/23 civil war. It recently occurred to be that we are passing through the 90th anniversary of the bloodiest final year of the War with the British and that all those interested in this time period would enjoy reading about the military details of that conflict. So here is my first installment of what happened 90 years ago this week in Ireland's struggle for Independence with Britain.

06 October
Two British soldiers were killed in an ambush at Drumcondra bridge in Dublin.

Two Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) men shot in Bishops Street in Derry City. One died from his wounds.

In Kanturk Co Cork, an IRA flying column attacked a lorry carrying British soldiers. One is killed, several were wounded.

In Feakle Co Clare, six RIC men are attacked by an IRA flying column. Two are killed.

07 October
The Inspector General of the RIC TJ Smith announced an increase in RIC pay in order to counter the difficulties they are having in recruiting new officers.

08 October
A letter appears in the London Times by British MP Brigadier General Cockerill stating that a truce should be called, followed by a conference by British and Irish plenipotentiaries in order to discuss a settlement that would be put before the British parliament and the underground government in Dublin. This would form the basis on which the July 1921 truce and December 1921 treaty would come about.

09 October
In a speech in Wales British Prime Minister David Lloyd George states that "The police naturally feel that the time has come to defend themselves and that this is what is called reprisals in Ireland". The controversial speech is reported internationally as acknowledging and justifying reprisals by crown forces in Ireland.

10 October
Two British Officers of the 1st Essex Regiment are killed in an ambush by the Cork IRA in Newcestown Co Cork.

11 October
A gunfight broke out in a house in Drumondra Dublin between raiding British soldiers and two of the most wanted IRA men in the country, Dan Breen and Sean Tracey of the Tipperary IRA. A British Captain and a Major were killed in the raid. Tracey and Breen escape but the latter was badly wounded. The men were laying low in the house of university professor Dr John carolyn. Carolyn was abducted by British soldiers and killed in captivity. Both Breen and Tracey had gained notoriety by firing the opening shots of the war of independence in Soloheadbeg Co Tipperary on the same day in January 1919 that the Irish parliament in Dublin declared independence from Britain. Dan Breen would later have a long life in Irish politics becoming a TD (member of parliament) for over 30 years. Sean Tracey however was killed in a shootout on Talbot street in Dublin four days later.

12 October
Five RIC men were killed in an ambush by the IRA in Ballinderry Co Roscommon.

13 October
Five IRA men were killed in when a bomb detonates prematurely in Scar Co Wexford.

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