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Irish War of Independence centenary

4 June 1920

Cappawhite RIC Barracks in Co. Tipperary was attacked by the IRA. The roof of the adjoining Courthouse was also set on fire during the attack which lasted for three hours before the Volunteers withdrew. They didn't capture any arms or ammunition the only casualty was one RIC constable wounded.

Winston Churchill, answering a question in the House of Commons, confirmed there were 40 tanks and 28 RAF planes in Ireland to deal with Sinn Féin. The British press were reporting that senior Cabinet members were keen to get the IRA on the streets in open warfare where the tanks and machine guns would get their chance to mow them down. Which rather nicely echoes @Mike Barton 's comment a few days back.
An interesting article about Tom Barry from the Irish Times:

Details include his failed application to become a government clerk in India, receipt of a war pension and education are included.

Details previously unknown or ignored it appears.
5 June 1920

At 7.30 pm. a patrol of Cameron Highlanders accompanied by an RIC man left Midleton, Co. Cork travelling on bicycles via a back road towards Carrigtwohill.

Diarmuid O'Hurley and a party of nine volunteers, three of them carrying revolvers, travelled towards Carrigtwohill in the hope of encountering the patrol as they returned to their barracks. The IRA pretended to be playing bowls along the road. About a mile from Midleton at Mile Bush the party spotted the soldiers returning on their bicycles, about 400 yards away. The ambushers lined up along the road and as the patrol drew alongside they rushed them, knocking the men off their bikes and capturing eleven rifles.

The twelfth soldier had been delayed further back having had trouble with his bicycle. When he saw the attack 200 yards ahead he dismounted and opened fire. The soldier had to stop firing when his comrades were ordered to their feet to provide cover for the IRA men. He then took to the fields and made his way back to barracks about an hour later. The soldiers were marched down a side road where they were released. The IRA then hijacked a passing car to transport the captured guns to a house in Carrigtwohill.

A lorry packed with soldiers went to the scene of the ambush at nightfall, interrogating the residents of a nearby cottage. When they returned to Midleton they began firing indiscriminately on the streets and taking random civilians prisoner. The police in their barracks a hundred yards from the military barracks, thought that they were being attacked and also opened fire. The chaos lasted for almost an hour.
6 June 1920

After a Sinn Féin march in Cullyhanna, Co Armagh, a group of seven or eight men attempted to hold up and disarm three RIC men. A shootout between the two sides ended with one IRA man, Peter McCreesh of Aughanduff, Armagh dead and RIC Sgt Timothy Holland fatally wounded. Sergeant Holland died on June 9th in Louth Infirmary in Dundalk. Holland was a native of Dunmanway Co. Cork, 42 years old and married with five young children. Constable Rafferty was shot and critically wounded but appears to have recovered.

A planned attack on Brosna RIC Barracks in Co. Kerry was called off when military reinforcements moved into the town during the day. Some of the IRA men were intercepted outside the town while still unarmed and were arrested. The attack will be rescheduled for June 19th.

Edited to add the arrested men were named as Patrick McMahon, John Mulclaire, Michael Relihan, James Joy, Thomas Fitzgerald, and Robert Stack. All are the sons of farmers from the Duagh area.

A landowner named John Blake was shot and seriously wounded as he walked to mass in Tuam, Co. Galway
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7 June 1920

A party of Cameron Highlanders raided the house of Mrs Walsh at Chapel Road, Midleton. Two of her lodgers were Diarmuid O’Hurley and Tadhg Manley who had led the Mile Bush stunt two days previously. O’Hurley escaped but Manley was captured and spent the rest of the war in prison. Ironically this probably saved his life as O’Hurley and half the other participants in the ambush will be dead within a year.

Edited to add In the last week over 4,000 British troops have landed in Ireland. Royal Navy Warships have been landing troops destined for coastal counties to get around the Railwaymen's boycott of troops and munitions. The IRA, having burnt most of the unoccupied RIC barracks in the country (438 since Easter) have now begun targetting buildings requisitioned by the military to accommodate troops. Piltown Courthouse in Co. Kilkenny, Drombane village hall in Tipperary and what would have been a British Legion Hall this time next year in Midleton, Co. Cork were all burned out on this day.
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7 June 1920

A party of Cameron Highlanders raided the house of Mrs Walsh at Chapel Road, Midleton. Two of her lodgers were Diarmuid O’Hurley and Tadhg Manley who had led the Mile Bush stunt two days previously. O’Hurley escaped but Manley was captured and spent the rest of the war in prison. Ironically this probably saved his life as O’Hurley and half the other participants in the ambush will be dead within a year.
The incidents involving the Cameron Highlanders seem to be the first time the army has been actively involved operationally since the troubles began in January 1919.
The incidents involving the Cameron Highlanders seem to be the first time the army has been actively involved operationally since the troubles began in January 1919.
Not really. They've been active but sustained few casualties so far. The IRA did not have the capacity to take on the military and priority was given to taking on easier and more important targets in the RIC and DMP. You'll have noted the changes in Dublin Castle and the command of the RIC. This leads to increased militarisation. At this stage there was also a military build up in Ireland. Army activity will increase over the next year, as will ambushes on military patrols. Sadly, there are many tragic days ahead of us.
8 June 1920

Bainbridge Colby, United States Secretary of State, apologised to Sir Auckland Geddes, the British Ambassador, after the recent burning of a Union flag by women protesting in support of Irish independence outside the Treasury Building in Washington. It wouldn't happen today as burning the US flag (and presumably anyone else's flag) has been protected as a First Amendment right since 1989.

In the US Senate during a debate on an Armenian resolution during which one Senator made reference to the ravages of the Hun, a woman in the gallery shouted: ‘Why not remove the English Hun from Ireland?’ Another began to sing an anti-war song, ‘I Didn’t Raise My Son To Be A Soldier’. The ladies were removed by ushers.

Thomas Brett from Drombane, Co. Tipperary turns up in the Mater Hospital in Dublin, suffering from a gunshot wound. According to @131Weeks Brett was shot and wounded two days earlier by a Lieutenant Gillespie near Drombane in an IRA ambush. I can't find any account of this ambush though. Brett's wound had turned gangrenous and he will die on 18th June.
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9 June 1920

A group of IRA Volunteers attempted to burn the courthouse in Lisbellaw, Co. Fermanagh. Lisbellaw was apparently full of Unionists and several dozen local men who had been forewarned of the plan, were supplied with UVF weapons and ambushed the IRA men as they entered the town. During the shootout, one IRA man named Goodwin was wounded, as were two of the Lisbellaw men. During the follow up soldiers of the Lincolnshire Regiment tried to disarm the Lisbellaw men but after much toing and froing they were allowed retain their weapons.

Tensions rose in Keady, Co. Armagh as Sinn Féin supporters celebrated their success in the local elections. The Masonic Hall was wrecked during the riot between Unionists and Nationalists.

1st Bn, Devonshire Regt landed in Rosslare for deployment in the south east.

The British press reported that the government was considering abolishing jury trials in Ireland and replacing them with tribunal-style trials.
10 June 1920
A party of IRA led by Seán Connolly attacked Ballinamuck RIC Barracks, Co. Longford. From the cover of a handball alley the attackers lit bombs, ran up a ladder and tossed the explosives on to the roof of the barracks. Within moments the entire building was ablaze and the IRA withdrew.

Less success in Carrigadrohid, Co. Cork where the IRA made another attack on the RIC Barracks. The attackers broke a hole through the roof and dropped in petrol bombs. They hadn’t enough petrol to do the job and were forced to withdraw.

A bomb exploded in the corridor of an office building at St. Andrew's Chambers, College Street, Dublin. Dr. Caleb Powell of the Borough Insurance Company narrowly escaped the explosion without injury.

Notices appeared around the village of Brosna, Co. Kerry warning that anybody entering the courthouse would be shot dead afterwards. A case involving the larceny of timber collapsed when nobody turned up for the trial.

Two Royal Navy Destroyers landed Royal Marines at Lough Swilly. The Marines occupied the surrounding coast guard stations

In Westminster, a question was asked in the Commons about a Coroner's Court in Ireland taking into consideration a document titled 'Dáil Éireann Official Verdict' and whether the government accepted this action. The government replied that 'it depends on the verdict'.
11 June 1920

The IRA ambushed a police car at Holycross near Bruff, Co. Limerick. The car, driven by DI Egan accompanied by two constables, was attacked by about 10 men. The ambush must not have been well planned because unknown to the IRA a military patrol from Bruff was on the road just 150 yards away. Their intervention ended the ambush but, in the firefight as the ambushers withdrew, L/Cpl Cyril Constable was fatally wounded.
Thomas Brett
In the post for 8th June I mentioned Thomas Brett arriving wounded at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

Comdt James Leahy, whom we have met before, mentioned the incident in his Witness Statement. On Sunday 7th June Brett was one of a group of men hanging about the street in Drombane, Co. Tipperary when a military officer arrived from Nenagh on a motorbike with dispatches for the RIC. Brett and his comrades headed out the Nenagh Road to ambush the soldier as he returned to Nenagh, although Brett was the only one armed, and with a revolver at that. Rather foolishly Brett waited on the roadside and tried to hold up the motorcyclist as he came along. Gillespie (presumably, as Leahy does not name him) drew his own pistol, shot Brett and rode on. It was a pretty good shot since he apparently didn't stop the bike. Leahy says Brett was hit in the chest but his death record says he died of gangrene of the rectum.

12 June 1920

189359 L/Cpl Cyril Constable, 1st Bn MGC, died in New Barracks, Limerick from the wounds he received in an ambush at Bruff, Co. Limerick the day before. Constable was 18 and from Newark, Nottinghamshire. He is interred in Nottingham General Cemetery.

Constable John Carroll, was shot dead in the bar of the Railway Hotel in Limerick. Constable Cruise chased the man who shot at them, one Paddy Naughton, but did not catch him. Having been recognised by Cruise, Naughton had to go on the run and joined the West Limerick Brigade Flying Column on its formation.

Constable Thomas King was attacked and killed on the Bantry to Glengarriff road near Snave Bridge as he cycled to his Barracks in Glengarriff. King was aged 26, from Co. Galway and had been a Stoker in the Royal Navy. He had joined the RIC 8 months previously and was a bit unfortunate in that the IRA wanted to ambush a RIC cycle patrol which failed to show. King was a target of opportunity and according to one of the ambushers he was shot by mistake. The wounded King ran to a farmhouse and was hidden by the occupants in a wardrobe. The IRA men fearing that he could identify them searched for King and then killed him in the farmyard, where they left his body on a dung heap. This is in the account left by Volunteer Michael O’Driscoll. Another man, Ted O'Sullivan claimed they targeted King because he was involved in the killing of Thomas Dwyer in Tipperary in March. But King was stationed in Glengariff then and it seems unlikely.

The final results in the local elections for county and rural district councils give Sinn Féin and other nationalists parties control of all but four county councils (these four are Armagh, Derry, Antrim and Down). Out of 206 rural district councils, republicans were in the majority in 172. Subsequently, many local councils voted to give allegiance to the Dáil.

Significantly, in the six counties earmarked to become Northern Ireland in the British government’s Bill for Ireland, control of Fermanagh county council was retained by a combination of 6 Sinn Féin and 5 Nationalist county councilors and control of Tyrone county council was seized for the first time by a combination of the same two parties.
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