Irish War of Independence centenary

22 June 1920

Howes Strand Coastguard station in Co. Cork was attacked by the IRA led by Capt. Jack Fitzgerald of the Kilbrittain company and Charlie Hurley Vice Comdt Bandon Battalion. Ten rifles and almost 5,000 rounds of ammunition were captured.

In an event of which I have never heard before, The Squad went for a big target when they tried to kill Arthur Roberts, the Assistant Inspector General of the RIC. Roberts often took the same route from Amiens Street Station to his office in Dublin Castle. The ambush took place at Beresford Place with the ambushers opening fire from the cover of the pillars of Butt Bridge. Roberts and his driver, Constable Pathe, escaped with non-life threatening injuries. The initial plan to bomb the car with grenades had been vetoed by Collins.
 
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I think the Collins revenge story is historical revisionism or poetic licence. How would he know about or recognise an unknown Captain in the British Army in 1916 when there were thousands of them in Dublin at the time.
Collins probably wouldn't, but there were Irish Regiments deployed in Dublin in 1916 and some of those soldiers joined the IRA after the war (Paul Merton's Grandfather is the only example I know of). One of them may have been able to name the unknown Captain. Or maybe his name had been used in earshot of the prisoners.

Or quite possibly poetic licence; take your pick.
 
23 June 1920
Derry

More fatalities in Derry. William Kane or O’Kane, John Gallagher and Joseph Plunkett named as being killed, bringing the death toll in recent days to 12. Kane was stopped by man as he walked to mass at 7am and asked his religion. When he replied 'Catholic', he was shot and died shortly afterwards in the Lower Fountain Hill area, dodging bullets as he went. Before he died, Kane gave a description of the man that had shot him - a one armed Unionist apparently. Which begs the question that if he knew the gunman was a feckin Unionist why did he tell him he was a Catholic. Unless Kane only came to the conclusion the gunman was a Unionist when he shot him.

By this stage both sides had gunmen out in force and the violence in Derry was described as the worst since the Easter Rising in Dublin. Five nationalists were reported killed when the army used machine guns in the Bishop Street area to provide cover fire for the evacuation of 1,000 Protestants to safety from IRA attack.

Newspapers reported that food was becoming scarce. Hundreds of refugees begin to flee the city for towns in Counties Tyrone and Donegal. Passengers in trains leaving Derry had to crouch down to avoid sniper fire.

Rest of Ireland

A seven man army foot patrol was ambushed and disarmed by a party of IRA men at the junction of Carmody St and O'Connell St in Ennis, Co Clare. The IRA numbered 21 men and were led by Joe Barrett, soon to be appointed O/C Mid-Clare Brigade Flying Column. The soldiers were the guard for military transport parked at the old Butter Market in the town and they left barracks at 6 pm each evening, marching in two files with about 25 yards between each man. Barrett and his men practised their attack every night for two weeks and it went off without a hitch.

In Bantry the Black and Tans made an attempt to burn the homes of three Sinn Féiners as reprisal for the recent deaths of Constables King and Brett. The first home visited was that of Maurice Donegan, who led the IRA Ambush that killed Brett. The arson attempts fail.

Cardinal Michael Logue, at a meeting of his Bishops, revealed that he had received death threats recently. He told the bishops that if he is shot he expects them to make sure he is canonised as a martyr.
 
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24 June 1920

The violence in Derry abated somewhat today but three more deaths were recorded including George Caldwell or Connell, a 10 year old orphan who was shot through the window of Nazareth House overlooking Foyle Road. P.J Plunkett was shot dead returning from the Post Office having sent a telegram to reassure his wife that he was safe.Augustus Austin, a convert to Catholicism, had lived with his family in a house owned by a Protestant but moved when the owner received threats. The family moved to a friend's house. Austin was shot dead by a sniper when he went out to buy coal. A CarholicPriest named Fr. O'Neill barricaded himself in his home under heavy fire from Loyalist gunmen. The RIC failed to respond to his request for help so 3 IRA Volunteers come to his aid and defend the house overnight. In the morning, the four men were detained by the military

Having failed in an arson attempt yesterday, the RIC in Bantry go for a more direct approach in reprisals for the recent killings of two RIC men. Four policemen entered the house of the Crowley family in Old Barrack Road. Charles Crowley was a member of the IRA and his brother Michael was a Sinn Fein member of Bantry Urban Council. Neither Charles nor Michael was home so they shot Con Crowley as he lay in bed. Con wasn’t in the IRA as he was disabled and could hardly walk.

The British Cabinet set up yet another Committee on the Irish Situation to assist the Viceroy and Chief Secretary. Walter Long was Chairman of the committee whose members included Winston Churchill, Baron Birkenhead and Arthur Balfour.

The RIC Barracks at Crazy Corner, near Mullingar Co. Westmeath was recently vacated by the police and as usual burned to the ground by the IRA

The Irish Bar Council ruled that it would be an act of professional misconduct for any barrister to carry out their duties in a Sinn Féin Court. The ruling has been criticised generally, and a meeting of the Bar was convened to discuss the matter.

The munitions strike has led to a complete closure of the Irish railway network in many areas. Railway conductors that attempted to continue services were kidnapped and convinced otherwise.

Statistics for the Dublin Metropolitan Police showed that 334 DMP officers retired from January to May 1920.

Delegates at the annual Labour Party conference denounced the government's policy in India and Ireland.
 
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25 June 1920

61494 Constable Michael Horan was fatally wounded in an attack in County Limerick. He was a native of County Roscommon, aged 38 and was a member of the Tyrone Force on temporary duty in Tipperary.
 
26 June 1920

Lucas (seated) with his captors in Clare.​
In what was probably the biggest Facepalm moment of the war, Brigadier General Cuthbert Lucas, GOC of 16 Brigade was taken prisoner by the IRA. Along with Lucas, Colonels Bertram Danford (RA) and Tyrell (RE) were taken prisoner. The three lads had decided that a few days fishing would be just the thing to pass the time and were staying in a fishing lodge at Kilbarry near Fermoy, Co. Cork with just Lucas's servant as an escort. The three men were driven away to be held as hostages for the release of IRA prisoners.

During this journey which was in two cars, Danford and Lucas attempted to overpower their captors. Danford was shot and wounded by Liam Lynch. The IRA team left Tyrell with the injured Danford, who seems to have survived, and carried on into west Cork with Lucas. The General was held in various houses in Cork, Clare and Limerick for four weeks until he escaped on 30th July. The accounts of his imprisonment are a bit Boy's Own stuff though the operation was really counter-productive. It stirred up such a hornet's nest that other IRA operations had to be suspended. Fermoy got thrashed again by the Buffs on the night of the 28th with the troops looting shops and shouting "We want or fúcking General back".

Lucas's jailers were somewhat peeved at having the prisoner imposed upon them. Amongst other expenses they had to provide him with a bottle of whiskey a day.



Borrisokane RIC barracks was attacked by men of No 1 (North Tipperary) Brigade commanded by Brigade O/C Frank McGrath. The barracks wasn't captured though it was badly damaged. Vol Michael O'Kennedy from Nenagh was fatally wounded and died on 23 July in Limerick.

Frank Carty, O/C South Sligo Brigade, IRA was rescued from Sligo jail.

British troops in Derry received reinforcements and by the end of June there were over 1,500 troops and 150 RIC stationed in the city.
 
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27 June 1920

The IRA attacked Borrisokane RIC barracks in Tipperary on the night 26/27. The attack was a failure despite the fact that two men managed to make a hole in the roof and poured paraffin through in an attempt to set the building on fire. The RIC had put sand on the floor which prevented it taking fire and then the men on the roof were hit by gunfire from their own men. Frank McGrath, the local commander, ordered a retreat abandoning the wounded men. His 2I/C, Sean Gaynor refused to leave and rescued the two wounded men. Jim O'Meara survived his wounds but Michael Kennedy died a few days later in hospital in Limerick.
 
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29 June 1920

A secret meeting of Dáil Eireann was held with 46 TDs present. They reviewed the work on the Land Bank, Industrial Commission, Arbitration Courts, The Courts of Justice were also established although as has been commented on here previously, such courts were already in existence.

A decision was made to close the Internal Loan from July 17th - £290,000 had been raised. $1m dollars was voted to de Valera in the US for his work in seeking recognition pf the Republic and another $1m voted to the Dept of Defence. Message of support sent to de Valera in the States which expresses “complete satisfaction with the work you have performed, and relies with confidence upon the great American nation to accord recognition to the Republic of Ireland now in fact and in law established.”
 
For anyone interested in following the story of Gen Lucas captivity, his grandaughter (I think) is publishing his daily letters here

 
30 June 1920

Private Frank Geraghty of the Connaught Rangers arrived in Solon Barracks from Jullundur to deliver the news of the mutiny that had begun two days earlier. Geraghty was immediately arrested, but word reached Pte James Daly who mustered the support of 40 men and informed their CO that they were also going on strike.

In Ardrahan, Co. Galway Volunteers Dan Ryan and John Coen ambushed RIC Sergeant Elliott seriously wounding him. The ambushers thought that Elliott was dead but he survived.

The IRA detonated a massive gelignite bomb at the front of one of Cork's main RIC Barracks, in King Street. An ND from one Volunteer scuppered a planned attack but the explosion caused extensive damage.

James Gray, a one-armed Loyalist ex-soldier was charged with the murder of William O'Kane in Derry last week.

The majority of services out of Kingsbridge Train Station, Dublin were cancelled when drivers refused to take 60 RIC officers in khaki uniform to the Curragh.

The military amended the hours of the curfew in Dublin to end at 3am, and not 5am. The curfew, in place since February 20th, was a real inconvenience to early morning traders.

The Kilkeel Board of Guardians in south Down proclaimed its allegiance to Dáil Eireann. By the end of July, Belleck, Downpatrick and Newry public authorities would also have given their allegiance to Dublin.

General Sir Edward Bulfin was honoured with an honorary degree from Trinity College. Sir Edward had once attended Trinners before pursuing a Military career and had commanded a Corps in Palestine during the War. He had a cousin, also Edward, who was the man who raised one of the flags over the GPO during the Easter Rising.

Edward Bulfin - Wikipedia

Eamon Bulfin - Wikipedia
 
26 June 1920

Lucas (seated) with his captors in Clare.​
In what was probably the biggest Facepalm moment of the war, Brigadier General Cuthbert Lucas, GOC of 16 Brigade was taken prisoner by the IRA. Along with Lucas, Colonels Bertram Danford (RA) and Tyrell (RE) were taken prisoner. The three lads had decided that a few days fishing would be just the thing to pass the time and were staying in a fishing lodge at Kilbarry near Fermoy, Co. Cork with just Lucas's servant as an escort. The three men were driven away to be held as hostages for the release of IRA prisoners.

During this journey which was in two cars, Danford and Lucas attempted to overpower their captors. Danford was shot and wounded by Liam Lynch. The IRA team left Tyrell with the injured Danford, who seems to have survived, and carried on into west Cork with Lucas. The General was held in various houses in Cork, Clare and Limerick for four weeks until he escaped on 30th July. The accounts of his imprisonment are a bit Boy's Own stuff though the operation was really counter-productive. It stirred up such a hornet's nest that other IRA operations had to be suspended. Fermoy got thrashed again by the Buffs on the night of the 28th with the troops looting shops and shouting "We want or fúcking General back".

Lucas's jailers were somewhat peeved at having the prisoner imposed upon them. Amongst other expenses they had to provide him with a bottle of whiskey a day.



Borrisokane RIC barracks was attacked by men of No 1 (North Tipperary) Brigade commanded by Brigade O/C Frank McGrath. The barracks wasn't captured though it was badly damaged. Vol Michael O'Kennedy from Nenagh was fatally wounded and died on 23 July in Limerick.

Frank Carty, O/C South Sligo Brigade, IRA was rescued from Sligo jail.

British troops in Derry received reinforcements and by the end of June there were over 1,500 troops and 150 RIC stationed in the city.
I have read about this General and his subsequent capture, a very interesting story from the era. As for his demand for whiskey, I wonder if his captors tried to provide Poitín instead of a good malt?

The possible deal to allow him to escape, whereby he did not reveal any safehouses where he was held is a new one to me, interesting theory.
 
The three lads had decided that a few days fishing would be just the thing to pass the time and were staying in a fishing lodge at Kilbarry near Fermoy, Co. Cork with just Lucas's servant as an escort.
It seems that some in the British Army were not taking this war too seriously at this stage.
 
It seems that some in the British Army were not taking this war too seriously at this stage.
Indeed, although you can see their point. From their perspective they were in the UK and no feckin rebel would make them skulk behind the barrack walls.

...The possible deal to allow him to escape, whereby he did not reveal any safehouses where he was held is a new one to me, interesting theory.
An unlikely scenario IMO. Even if Lucas agreed to such a deal they could have simply released him. If he was sinking a bottle of whiskey a day, he probably couldn't remember his own name half the time, let alone where he was kept prisoner.
 
Indeed, although you can see their point. From their perspective they were in the UK and no feckin rebel would make them skulk behind the barrack walls.



An unlikely scenario IMO. Even if Lucas agreed to such a deal they could have simply released him. If he was sinking a bottle of whiskey a day, he probably couldn't remember his own name half the time, let alone where he was kept prisoner.
Probably they were glad to get rid of him if he was depleting their whisky supplies at such a rate.
 
Probably they were glad to get rid of him if he was depleting their whisky supplies at such a rate.
The IRA or the British Army?

Incidentally Lucas wife gave birth to a baby boy 100 years ago yesterday.
 
1 July 1920

On the evening of 1 July around 30 members of the C Company, Connaught Rangers, armed with bayonets, attempted to take their rifles from the company magazine at Solon. The soldiers on guard opened fire, killing two men and wounding another. The incident effectively brought the mutiny to an end, and the mutineers at both Jullundur and Solon were placed under armed guard. It also turned it into a far more serious matter and 61 men were subsequently convicted for their role in the mutiny. Fourteen men were sentenced to death, but the only soldier whose capital sentence was carried out was that of Private James Daly, the leader of the mutiny at Solon and the man responsible for the attack on the magazine. Daly was executed in Dagshai prison in India on 2 November 1920.

https://www.historyireland.com/20th...emory-the-connaught-rangers-mutiny-june-1920/

Edited to add the names of those killed and wounded;

32781 Private Peter Sears from, Co Mayo was killed outright.
11264 Private John Smyth, fatally wounded and died on 2nd July.
Private Eugene Egan was wounded but recovered.

The remains of Sears and Smyth were repatriated along with those of James Daly in October 1970. Daly was interred in his home place- Tyrellspass, Co. Westmeath, while the other two are buried in Glasnevin in Dublin. Somewhat oddly, all three are commemorated by the CWGC as well as by the National Graves Association in Ireland. A unique occurrence I'd say.


An ambush on the Skibbereen to Leap road goes awry when the IRA’s shotguns do not work. I’m not sure if they all misfired, which seems unlikely, or their fire was ineffective. The IRA withdrew quickly under fire.

RIC Constable John Tangney resigned. He later giave evidence to the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland.

Members of the South Donegal Brigade of the IRA burnt down the barracks in Pettigo which had been vacated by the RIC. The family of Sergeant Andrews was still living in the barracks and they and their belonging were removed before the barracks was burnt. Subsequently, Sergeant Andrews applied to the county court for compensation and, during evidence, said that his family was mistreated by the IRA. The Adjutant of the South Donegal Brigade, Liam O’Duffy, wrote a letter to the Donegal Vindicator disputing the Sergeant’s claim that his family was mistreated. Some days later, in retaliation for publishing O’Duffy’s letter, British military entered the offices of the Donegal Vindicator and removed their type.

In Ardfert, Co. Kerry, the IRA shot Constable Ryall, an RIC man stationed in Lismore, Co. Waterford who was home on leave. Ryall was hit in both legs but apparently survived.

Eliza Moore, a bootmaker's wife from Derry , who was shot through the eye during last week's violence, became the 20th person to die during the latest spate of violence.
 
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1 July 1920

On the evening of 1 July around 30 members of the C Company, Connaught Rangers, armed with bayonets, attempted to take their rifles from the company magazine at Solon. The soldiers on guard opened fire, killing two men and wounding another. The incident effectively brought the mutiny to an end, and the mutineers at both Jullundur and Solon were placed under armed guard. It also turned it into a far more serious matter and 61 men were subsequently convicted for their role in the mutiny. Fourteen men were sentenced to death, but the only soldier whose capital sentence was carried out was that of Private James Daly, the leader of the mutiny at Solon and the man responsible for the attack on the magazine. Daly was executed in Dagshai prison in India on 2 November 1920.

https://www.historyireland.com/20th...emory-the-connaught-rangers-mutiny-june-1920/

Edited to add the names of those killed and wounded;

32781 Private Peter Sears from, Co Mayo was killed outright.
11264 Private John Smyth, fatally wounded and died on 2nd July.
Private Eugene Egan was wounded but recovered.

The remains of Sears and Smyth were repatriated along with those of James Daly in October 1970. Daly was interred in his home place- Tyrellspass, Co. Westmeath, while the other two are buried in Glasnevin in Dublin. Somewhat oddly, all three are commemorated by the CWGC as well as by the National Graves Association in Ireland. A unique occurrence I'd say.


An ambush on the Skibbereen to Leap road goes awry when the IRA’s shotguns do not work. I’m not sure if they all misfired, which seems unlikely, or their fire was ineffective. The IRA withdrew quickly under fire.

RIC Constable John Tangney resigned. He later giave evidence to the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland.

Members of the South Donegal Brigade of the IRA burnt down the barracks in Pettigo which had been vacated by the RIC. The family of Sergeant Andrews was still living in the barracks and they and their belonging were removed before the barracks was burnt. Subsequently, Sergeant Andrews applied to the county court for compensation and, during evidence, said that his family was mistreated by the IRA. The Adjutant of the South Donegal Brigade, Liam O’Duffy, wrote a letter to the Donegal Vindicator disputing the Sergeant’s claim that his family was mistreated. Some days later, in retaliation for publishing O’Duffy’s letter, British military entered the offices of the Donegal Vindicator and removed their type.
Apparently John Miranda was an Anglo Portuguese scouser. The Officers and SNCO's of the Connaught Rangers association apparently were saddened that the fine fighting record of their Regiment was sullied by a mutiny in the last days of its existance.
 
Apparently John Miranda was an Anglo Portuguese scouser. The Officers and SNCO's of the Connaught Rangers association apparently were saddened that the fine fighting record of their Regiment was sullied by a mutiny in the last days of its existance.
Unlike the other three, Miranda remains interred in Dagshai. Presumably as he wasn't Irish, the Irish government couldn't lay claim to the body in 1970. Smyth (he's Patrick on the memorial and John according to the CWGC) was apparently not even a participant in the attack on the magazine. He was just observing the barney and got hit by a stray round. By a strange twist of fate he became a hero of the revolution.

While the Mutiny was seized upon for propaganda value by Irish and Indian nationalists, it doesn't appear to have gained much traction with the majority of the battalion. Nor with any of the other Irish regiments still in existence at the time.
 

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