18 June 1921
Following the killing of Constable William Campbell the previous evening, the three Watters brothers, Patrick, John and Bernard, who lived at The Windmill Bar in Dundalk were taken from their home by members of the RIC. Patrick, aged 18, and John, 21, were shot dead on Quay Street, while Bernard managed to escape. All three Watters brothers were members of the IRA.
In Offaly, the IRA shot two men for spying. Coincidentally both men were ex-soldiers.
Thomas Cunningham, age 45, was shot outside his home at Cush East near Belmont at 2.40 am.
Michael Reilly was killed at Cloghan. Reilly had been wounded while serving in the Boer War and had also served in France where he was gassed. He was married with four children and because he was in poor health, the family survived on his pension and the washing Mrs Reilly did for the soldiers in Hunston Camp. The loss of the pension left the family destitute and in December two of the children were in the process of being enrolled in the Hibernian Military School.
In Dublin, Robert Pike was shot dead by an IRA gunman as he stood with his wife and another woman At Fagan’s Corner. Pike was 38 years old and had six children. He joined the RE in 1917. He was suspected of being involved in intelligence work and his wife subsequently secured a pension so it may have been true.
A badly planned ambush in Co. Kilkenny led to the deaths of two members of the ambush party. The plan was to ambush a load of dynamite being escorted by the military from Castlecomer Barracks to the coalmine nearby. The ambush site was on the main road about a mile from the town and because it was market day the whole parish knew about it as soon as the men were in position. About 10 am, with the military and RIC closing in on them the IRA withdrew. As they did so two men were hit;
John Hartley, aged 22 from Glenmore, was killed instantly.
Nicholas Mullins, aged 27 from Thomastown, was wounded and died later in the day in Castlecomer Barracks.
George O’Dwyer, the leader of the ambush party was subsequently relieved of command of the ASU and replaced by Garrett Brennan. O’Dwyer, at an earlier time in his life, a member of the RIC before emigrating, did not suffer for long however. He bought a farm in September with £1,000 he produced from thin air and went on to become a Garda Superintendent.
The home of the Dreaper family was later burned out because one of the women of the family was alleged to have rode to Castlecomer to inform the military of the ambush.
Further south in Co. Kilkenny, the 9th Bn, Kilkenny Bde ambushed a RIC cycle patrol and killed Constable Albert Bradford. Bradford was 21, from Essex and had joined the RIC in August 1920. As his body was being moved to Waterford the following evening, poor Bradford was ambushed again.