Irish War of Independence centenary

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Stephen Kirwan, 58582
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Statement, by Stephen's brother and fellow-RIC Sergeant Charles (Charlie)

Charles Kirwan, 59246
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Statement of Sgt . C .Kirwan

I am a sergt.of the R.I.C. stationed at Dunlavin. I called to see my brother Sgt. S.Kirwan who was fatally wounded at Ballyboghill on 18-4-21,at George V hospital on morning of 19-4-21.I asked him how he was, and he replied: -- “ I am done,Charlie”. I then asked him how it happened and he stated: -“I was sent out in a motor car with three men to make enquiries about a complaint. When we reached Ballyboghill I told the men to remain there for a few mins. until I would make some enquiries about the complaint and I went into the yard myself to try and find out something about the matter. When I was returning to the car ,three men met me in the yard and one of them pointed a revolver and fired point-blank at me,and hit me and knocked me down. I drew my revolver and fired and I think I got one of them. I was again hit and I then drew my rev emptied my revolver at them.”

I asked my brother if any of the attackers were arrested,and he replied: -“ No, but the police know them.”

( sgd ) Charles Kirwan. Sgt.
 
19 April 1921



Two RIC men who were unarmed and in civilian clothes, were taken from a train at Ballisodare Station in Co. Sligo by eight to ten IRA men who had taken over the train. The two policemen were interrogated and then shot dead. Half a dozen soldiers on the train were disarmed and released.
The two policemen were killed but the half dozen soldiers were not, but nonetheless allowed themselves to be disarmed. I wonder if that is a sign of declining morale among the troops.
 
20 April 1921

Charles Nicholson, a 28-year-old Protestant, who had been lifted for a curfew violation in Belfast, died while in military in custody. In a variation on the “shot while trying to escape” routine, Charlie fell under wheels of the lorry in which he was travelling.

William Mordon, aged 60, was taken from his home in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone and shot dead. Nobody claimed responsibility or gave a reason for his killing. Mordon had beena soldier at some stage in his life.

Jeremiah Quill, a Clareman, was taken from his aunt’s home in Kilgarvan, Co. Kerry and disappeared, by the IRA. Jeremiah had joined the RIC in 1913 and then enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1916. He rejoined the RIC on discharge in February 1919 but resigned in October of that year.
 
The two policemen were killed but the half dozen soldiers were not, but nonetheless allowed themselves to be disarmed. I wonder if that is a sign of declining morale among the troops.
The policemen were targetted it seems, while the soldiers just happened to be on the train when the IRA took it over. I assume the men were disarmed before the policemen were killed and they were probably unaware that there were RIC on the train anyway as the two Constables were in civilian clothing.

Apart from that, as @par avion has noted previously, the soldiers serving in Ireland were very young and inexperienced. Unless there was an officer or experienced NCO to lead them, they would probably have said "Feck it. No point in dying for King and Country in this sh1thole."
 
Was the Castle Connell incident the one that we had photos of the aftermath of way back 100 pages or so ago? The attached caption stated that the hotel had been shot up by a Lewis gun, thus indicating that it might not have been an IRA attack.

Yes, P47ish of this thread.

ISTR that had a major influence on getting truce negotiations started because the IRA wasn't involved and the conduct of the ADRIC was witnessed by the brother of some lord.
 
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The policemen were targetted it seems, while the soldiers just happened to be on the train when the IRA took it over. I assume the men were disarmed before the policemen were killed and they were probably unaware that there were RIC on the train anyway as the two Constables were in civilian clothing.

Apart from that, as @par avion has noted previously, the soldiers serving in Ireland were very young and inexperienced. Unless there was an officer or experienced NCO to lead them, they would probably have said "Feck it. No point in dying for King and Country in this sh1thole."
I don't think the Army was full of raw recruits, there were a fair few old hands left over from WW1 who were not demobbed. I know the link has been posted before but a quick check through shows there were quite a few veterans, especially men born around 1896:


Sadly, the list of the missing for various reasons is quite lengthy:


I will post a very interesting link that shows why the RIC were targeted in another post.
 
The two policemen were killed but the half dozen soldiers were not, but nonetheless allowed themselves to be disarmed. I wonder if that is a sign of declining morale among the troops.
I was going to post this thesis up later, it certainly is an eye opener and raises the question of British morale, the state of the IRA by 1921 (it seems they were not as close to defeat as previously thought) and other very interesting points:


It is by Andrew Silke, Professor of Terrorism studies at Cranfield University:

 
I was going to post this thesis up later, it certainly is an eye opener and raises the question of British morale, the state of the IRA by 1921 (it seems they were not as close to defeat as previously thought) and other very interesting points:


It is by Andrew Silke, Professor of Terrorism studies at Cranfield University:

In your opinion, would you say that the local knowledge of the RIC was key to suppressing the IRA. By relocating that local knowledge Dublin castle gave the IRA rural Ireland therefore losing the battle the dd the war.
 
I was going to post this thesis up later, it certainly is an eye opener and raises the question of British morale, the state of the IRA by 1921 (it seems they were not as close to defeat as previously thought) and other very interesting points:


It is by Andrew Silke, Professor of Terrorism studies at Cranfield University:

A pity Michael Collins and Emett Dalton didn't agree with him. But then again they weren't Professors of Terrosism Studies.
 
In your opinion, would you say that the local knowledge of the RIC was key to suppressing the IRA. By relocating that local knowledge Dublin castle gave the IRA rural Ireland therefore losing the battle the dd the war.
The thesis supports that conclusion of yours. I have read elsewhere that the IRA did not fear the Army, they feared the RIC for the reason you mention, i.e local knowledge. From the article:

[The enemy’s] front line in Ireland, his chief instrument of executive power was the "R.I.C.” an armed force of Irish mercenaries with elaborate local knowledge, situated in strongholds in every part of the country, even the wildest and remotest. The “R.I.C." were his eyes and ears and his strong right arm in Ireland. A relatively small body of men as compared to the people of Ireland; they were able by their organisation and elaborate system of intelligence to dominate the unarmed citizens. … To-day the first line of the enemy, the chief instrument of executive power has broken down and ceased to be effective. (in reference to the RIC barracks being abandoned)
 
In your opinion, would you say that the local knowledge of the RIC was key to suppressing the IRA. By relocating that local knowledge Dublin castle gave the IRA rural Ireland therefore losing the battle the dd the war.
The whole reason Collins targeted the RIC was because of their excellent local knowledge. He said it himself.
 
A pity Michael Collins and Emett Dalton didn't agree with him. But then again they weren't Professors of Terrosism Studies.
Read the article, it is supported by plenty of links. I too have seen the youtube videos, i have also read Ernie O'Malley who seen the news of a truce as a surprise.
 
Read the article, it is supported by plenty of links. I too have seen the youtube videos, i have also read Ernie O'Malley who seen the news of a truce as a surprise.
I have read the article. I would still take Dalton's words spoken in a seventies documentary over some revisionist academic even if it doesn't accord with the views of the Sinn Fein IRA fan bois and what people have been told growing up in the Republic since 1922.
 
I have read the article. I would still take Dalton's words spoken in a seventies documentary over some revisionist academic even if it doesn't accord with the views of the Sinn Fein IRA fan bois and what people have been told growing up in the Republic since 1922.
50 odd years after the events, memories do fade.

And who do you refer to as a fan bois?
 
I don't think the Army was full of raw recruits, there were a fair few old hands left over from WW1 who were not demobbed. I know the link has been posted before but a quick check through shows there were quite a few veterans, especially men born around 1896:
Percival's biography states that most of the soldiers of 1 Essex were little more than raw recruits when they arrived in Bandon in 1920. I doubt if any of the other battalions were any different.
 
They may not have held professorships, they did possess the tactical and logistical nuances that led to the peace treaty table a few months later
Probably because they were forced to. Both Collins at the time and Dalton later said that the IRA could not last much longer. At least without a resupply of arms and ammunition.
 
Percival's biography states that most of the soldiers of 1 Essex were little more than raw recruits when they arrived in Bandon in 1920. I doubt if any of the other battalions were any different.
Maybe true, i only had a quick look through the link i posted. but found a good few veterans.
 
Point of order the then IRA were separate to SF were they not
Probably because they were forced to. Both Collins at the time and Dalton later said that the IRA could not last much longer. At least without a resupply of arms and ammunition.

they were running low, funnily enough the .303 from the brits fired fine by the ira so ammo liberated was always welcome


Ireland was a home station alongside the UK, therefore the home btn provided drafts for the overseas sister btn. Raw recruits could be applied however there would be enough of a sprinkling throughout of veterans.
 

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