Tuesday, November 2, 2010

90 Years Ago This Week,

Oct 25

Terence McSwiney (Lord Mayor of Cork and Commandant of the Cork No.1 Brigade IRA) dies on hunger strike in Brixton prison - he had been on hunger strike since 12th August – some 74 days. His funeral receives wide-spread publicity.

The IRA raid the RIC barracks at Tempo, Co. Fermanagh. It results in the death of one RIC man. It is only a partially successful raid as local loyalists come to the assistance of the police. Subsequently, a local Republican is shot and killed in his home.

At Moneygold in Co Sligo, the IRA ambush an nine-man RIC patrol, killing four and wounding two others

Oct 26
Two men, one a 15 year old youth are shot dead in Curraghduff Co Tipperary by what is believed to be off duty British soldiers.

Oct 27
Kevin Barry (pictured), an 18 year old IRA man arrested after an ambush of British soldiers in Dublin on September 20th in which three soldiers were killed, is informed that he will be hung the following Monday, 1st November. The Governor of Mountjoy Prison (Munro) receives an order from General Macready C-in-C of British Army in Ireland telling him to carry out the sentence.

Oct 28th
A Flying Column in South Tipperary ambush a lorry with soldiers at Thomastown. Three soldiers are killed and five wounded as is one IRA man. They were expecting an RIC tender but the soldiers (from the Northhamptonshire Regiment) came unexpectedly.

Oct 29th
In an address to the 'Civilised Nations' on the forthcoming hanging of Kevin Barry, Minister of Home Affairs in the underground Government, Arthur Griffith, points out that British forces captured by the IRA had been released (including 25 English soldiers captured during the Kings Inn raid on the 1st June in which Barry had taken part).

Oct 30th
A five-man RIC patrol is ambushed at Castledaly, Co. Galway resulting in the death of one policeman.

In his report on the Irish Situation Committee to the British Cabinet, commander of British forces in Ireland General Sir Cecil Frederick Nevil Macready deals with the MacSwiney funeral, the railway situation and the forthcoming Barry hanging. He says "It would be a good thing if some person in authority in England would explain publicly that this man [Barry] was conclusively proved to have shot a soldier with an expanding bullet"

RIC District/Inspector Philip Kelleher shot dead in the Greville Arms Hotel, Granard, Co Longford. This hotel is a famous landmark today. I have been in it many times.

Oct 31st
An RIC Sgt is shot outside his home in Henry St., Tullamore, Co. Offally - he dies the next day.

Two RIC men are shot dead at Hillville, Co. Kerry (outside Killorglin). Two other RIC men are reported missing. Posters appear in Tralee threatening reprisals if the two policemen are not returned. Rumors begin to spread that they were thrown alive into the furnace in Tralee Gas Works.

The North Kerry IRA attack the RIC barracks and a patrol in the village of Ballyduff, Co. Kerry. It results in the death of three RIC men.

Under-Secretary James McMahon requests the Viceroy, Lord French that Kevin Barry be reprieved. The following day, French declines.

Nov 1st
Kevin Barry hung in Mountjoy Jail.

An RIC man is killed in an ambush between Balinalee and Granard, Co Longford.

A young mother is shot through the stomach by an RIC man as she sits cradling her child by the roadside in Kiltartan, Co. Galway. A military inquiry would later find that the firing was “a precautionary measure”.

Formal announcement from British Government that a Special Constabulary was to be raised. Advertisements printed in local press calling on all law-abiding citizens between 21 and 45 to “assist the authorities in the maintenance of the order of the prevention of crime”. Selection committees were set up in each of the northern counties (not the rest of the country?) which were instructed to select “only men of unquestionable fidelity”. Enrollees had to swear to “well and truly serve our Sovereign Lord the King”.

An RIC lorry is attacked at Auburn Glasson, near Athlone, Co Westmeath resulting in the death of one RIC man and one IRA man.

The IRA, under Sean MacEoin, engage the RIC while the latter are attempting to burn down a business in Granard, Co. Longford in reprisal for the killing of DI Kelleher and Constable Cooney. The RIC retreat to the local barracks.

The events of the past week 90 years ago is seen as a watershep in the conflict. The deaths of Terrence MacSweeney and Kevin Barry in particular outraged public opinion in Ireland of focused international attention on the war. Many nations particularly the Vatican, the Soviet Union and the United States (how often to these all agree) were critical of British tactics.


Dan said...

Good to have you back Ted!

Keep up the good posting. Are you still 27?

Ted Leddy said...

Thanks Dan

Actually, I'm going backwards, I just turned 26 !