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Irish War of Independence centenary

16 September 1920

Frank Digby Hardy left Dublin for the greener pastures of Great Britain. Hardy was a career criminal who had served in, and been imprisoned by, both the Navy and the Army. In 1919 he conned his way into employment by the Secret Service. His cunning plan was to catch Michael Collins and win the £10,000 reward on Collins’ head. Arthur Griffith set him up for the fall by getting him to outline his plan at a meeting attended by journalists. I assume that the only reason he didn't fill an unmarked grave somewhere was that he sold out his comrades in the intelligence services. His life story is quite entertaining.


How many of the other 60 59 agents will feature later in the thread, I wonder?
 
16 September 1920

Frank Digby Hardy left Dublin for the greener pastures of Great Britain. Hardy was a career criminal who had served in, and been imprisoned by, both the Navy and the Army. In 1919 he conned his way into employment by the Secret Service. His cunning plan was to catch Michael Collins and win the £10,000 reward on Collins’ head. Arthur Griffith set him up for the fall by getting him to outline his plan at a meeting attended by journalists. I assume that the only reason he didn't fill an unmarked grave somewhere was that he sold out his comrades in the intelligence services. His life story is quite entertaining.

He appeared to be an utter cad and bounder.
 
18 September 1920

Constable Terence Wheatly died in Dundalk of wounds sustained on 15th.

Men of the 5th Bn, Waterford Bde attacked Kill RIC barracks. One RIC man was captured before the attack which went off without any casualties on either side apparently. The IRA withdrew when military reinforcements were seen coming from the direction of Waterford city.
 
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18 September 1920

Constable Terence Wheatly died in Dundalk of wounds sustained on 15th.

Men of the 5th Bn, Waterford Bde attacked Kill RIC barracks. One RIC man was captured before the attack which went off without any casualties on either side apparently. The IRA withdrew when military reinforcements were seen coming from the direction of Waterford city.

Seems petrol and a spraying machine were brought along by the IRA.

An interesting little action, more in the link below:



Edit: the barracks seems to have been strengthened with steel shutters which no doubt contributed to the stout defence put up by the defenders.
 
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Mike Barton

On ROPS
On ROPs
18 September 1920

Constable Terence Wheatly died in Dundalk of wounds sustained on 15th.

Men of the 5th Bn, Waterford Bde attacked Kill RIC barracks. One RIC man was captured before the attack which went off without any casualties on either side apparently. The IRA withdrew when military reinforcements were seen coming from the direction of Waterford city.
What I think is surprising about the RIC at this stage is not how badly discipline and moral were breaking down, that is understandable, although what is totally inexcusable is the government's active collusion in their law-breaking, that can never be condoned by any civilised government, but how morale was being sustained at all at this point.

If I am not wrong I think it was taken as read that the RIC would be abolished after Home Rule was passed in 1914. Home Rule was obviously a dead letter at this stage and it must have been plain as a pike staff that whatever sort of negotiated settlement would be coming up, there would be no return to the status quo ante. The RIC would almost certainly be disbanded whatever happened in the coming year or so.

The men of the RIC had lost the well-regarded status that they had previously enjoyed among most people in Ireland (except oddly enough in protestant Ulster were they were regarded as a bunch of Papist southerners who couldn't be trusted to stand by King and empire when the crunch came), they had physically been driven from vast swathes of territory, they were now crammed into fetid barracks in middle-sized towns, cowering behind steel shutters and sand bags and being helped out by a crowd of English yahoos and adventurers who had no respect for either Ireland or the profession of policing and yet although many of them did run riot, usually (although by no means always) under extreme provocation, for the most part they stood by their posts and did their duty.

It can't have been all about waiting to get their pensions, there really was a remarkable esprit de corps among them, it is a shame that so many of their colleagues were to sully their final days as a force and their place in history with wanton brutality and atrocities.
 
It can't have been all about waiting to get their pensions, there really was a remarkable esprit de corps among them, it is a shame that so many of their colleagues were to sully their final days as a force and their place in history with wanton brutality and atrocities.
Well I have read every entry since this thread was started and since January 1919 the vast majority of the wanton brutality and atrocities have been committed by the IRA.
 

Mike Barton

On ROPS
On ROPs
Well I have read every entry since this thread was started and since January 1919 the vast majority of the wanton brutality and atrocities have been committed by the IRA.
That is simply not true PA and you know it.

When I refer to wanton brutality and atrocities I am not referring to conflict between two armed sides, that is fair do's, both sides know the risks and both sides have the opportunity to fight back (indeed one side being armed and equipped by the largest empire the world had ever seen had a much greater opportunity to fight back than the other) I am talking about attacks on unarmed civilians, who are murdered in cold blood and who have no part in the struggle.

That being the case there is simply no possible way you could say the "vast majority" of such atrocities were committed by the IRA, the IRA committed many atrocities against civilian targets, of that there is no doubt, but not the vast majority, and let's be clear from a British viewpoint the IRA were criminals and they were the upholders of law and order, so there should have been no atrocities carried out against civilians, and certainly not ones committed by policemen, soldiers and other agents of the state.
 
That is simply not true PA and you know it.

When I refer to wanton brutality and atrocities I am not referring to conflict between two armed sides, that is fair do's, both sides know the risks and both sides have the opportunity to fight back (indeed one side being armed and equipped by the largest empire the world had ever seen had a much greater opportunity to fight back than the other) I am talking about attacks on unarmed civilians, who are murdered in cold blood and who have no part in the struggle.

That being the case there is simply no possible way you could say the "vast majority" of such atrocities were committed by the IRA, the IRA committed many atrocities against civilian targets, of that there is no doubt, but not the vast majority, and let's be clear from a British viewpoint the IRA were criminals and they were the upholders of law and order, so there should have been no atrocities carried out against civilians, and certainly not ones committed by policemen, soldiers and other agents of the state.
Well I have obviously been reading a different thread from you.
 

Mike Barton

On ROPS
On ROPs
Well I have obviously been reading a different thread from you.
Or perhaps choosing to ignore inconvenient entries, as I pointed out earlier when you got quite indignant about the shooting of an armed British intelligent agent by the IRA but seemed not to notice the cold-blooded killing of a 10 year-old Irish boy by British soldiers.

I find that sort of wilful blindness persisted through to the later Troubles, when Unionists could get very outraged, justifiably, about atrocities conducted by the Provos, atrocities that I too would wholeheartedly condemn, but who seemed rather sanguine about atrocities committed by people loyal to the British state (in an official or unofficial capacity), either trying to justify them or simply choosing to forget they ever happened.

But I got scolded before for making this point so I will just leave it there.
 
19 September 1920
Patrick Culhane, Louth Brigade, IRA died in the Mater Hospital, Dublin from injuries received after being beaten by Sergeants Taylor and Bustard of the RIC. The incident happened back in April. Culhane was from Dundalk and had joined the Irish Volunteers in 1916. His father had served with the RIC and Patrick joined and was in training when he contracted scarlet fever in 1914 and was medically discharged.

Sean Doyle was shot dead at Power’s Wood in the Dublin Mountains. Doyle, from Inchicore, Dublin, was participating in a training camp when it was raided by the RIC.
 
...indeed one side being armed and equipped by the largest empire the world had ever seen had a much greater opportunity to fight back than the other....

To hold to your own logic, no. They were (or should have been) constrained by Law. I'd suggest your wilful blindness is the yang to the ying you criticize so vehemently. Upthread you wonder at official records surviving (or more realistically in my view being made and retained) of the fates of people in contrast to other conflicts elsewhere. It doesn't seem to occur to you that as bad as it was in 1920's Ireland it wasn't as bad as those other places because that doesn't fit the MOPE narrative.

As an aside the Empire thing is pretty ridiculous. "Look we fought an empire with bayonets fashioned from Garden tools! (Ignore the Mauser we fitted it on.)"
 
Well I have read every entry since this thread was started and since January 1919 the vast majority of the wanton brutality and atrocities have been committed by the IRA.

So far, it's early days yet, the UK's response has hardly started.

The Black and Tans were founded in January 1920, Wikipedia says. It would take some time to recruit, train and deploy them. The first one that was killed died on 11th July 1920. "By 1921, Black and Tans made up nearly half of all RIC constables in County Tipperary, for example."

The rank and file of the 'old' RIC were mostly Irish Catholics, less inclined to dispense police brutality to the civilian population. and also most likely to resign to avoid being targeted. "While some Irish constables got along well with the Black and Tans, "it seems that many Irish police did not like their new British colleagues" and saw them as "rough".

The Auxiliary Division of the RIC (ADRIC) was founded in July 1920. The former officers and temporary gentlemen had hardly got going by September.
 
19 September 1920
Patrick Culhane, Louth Brigade, IRA died in the Mater Hospital, Dublin from injuries received after being beaten by Sergeants Taylor and Bustard of the RIC. The incident happened back in April. Culhane was from Dundalk and had joined the Irish Volunteers in 1916. His father had served with the RIC and Patrick joined and was in training when he contracted scarlet fever in 1914 and was medically discharged.

Sean Doyle was shot dead at Power’s Wood in the Dublin Mountains. Doyle, from Inchicore, Dublin, was participating in a training camp when it was raided by the RIC.

It appears that Doyle was part of an engineering team that was demonstrating a new type of explosive, bizarrely dubbed 'war flour' by one of the IRA officers. (gelignite substitute created by the IRA chemical unit apparently)
His shooting was controversial to say the least with conflicting evidence from both sides.
The OC of the RIC forces had a colourful history to say the least both during and after his RIC career.

The below link is well worth a read:


Once again GC, thanks for the updates.
 
19 September 1920
Patrick Culhane, Louth Brigade, IRA died in the Mater Hospital, Dublin from injuries received after being beaten by Sergeants Taylor and Bustard of the RIC. The incident happened back in April. Culhane was from Dundalk and had joined the Irish Volunteers in 1916. His father had served with the RIC and Patrick joined and was in training when he contracted scarlet fever in 1914 and was medically discharged.

Sean Doyle was shot dead at Power’s Wood in the Dublin Mountains. Doyle, from Inchicore, Dublin, was participating in a training camp when it was raided by the RIC.
This was the first operation of the Auxillaries.
 
20 September 1920

The IRA in Dublin ambushed a party of soldiers who were collecting bread from a bakery. The intention was to hold up and disarm the troops but in the middle of proceedings someone fired a shot and several of the soldiers were hit. Private Harold Washington was shot dead and Privates Marshall Whitehead and Thomas Humphries were both fatally wounded. One of the IRA took cover under the military lorry and failed to leg it with his comrades. He was captured when reinforcements from the Lancashire Fusiliers turned up and turned out to be an 18 year old medical student from Co. Carlow named Kevin Barry. Barry went on to fame, though no fortune, as the first rebel to be executed since the Easter Rising. He’ll be hanged in Mountjoy Prison on November 1st.

4603001 Private Harold Washington, 2nd Bn, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. From Salford, Lancashire, Washington had enlisted underage and was two weeks short of his 16th birthday when he died. His brother William had been killed in France two years earlier. Washington is interred in Weaste Cemetery, Salford.

4603629 Private Marshall Whitehead, 2nd Bn, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. From Halifax, Yorkshire, died September 21st, aged 20. He is interred in Stoney Royd Cemetery, Halifax.

4602364 Private Thomas Humphries, 2nd Bn, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. From Bradford, Yorkshire, died September 21st, aged 19. He is interred in Bowling Cemetery, Bradford.

A busy day elsewhere too. An ambush on a RIC patrol near Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick resulted in the deaths of Constable James Donohoe, age 29 from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan and Constable John Mahony , age 26 from Castletownshend, Co Cork.


In Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, two RIC men, brothers Peter and Michael Burke (above), were having a drink in a pub when an IRA party entered and shot both of them. Head Constable Peter Burke was shot dead and Sergeant Michael Burke was wounded. The brothers were from Glenamaddy, Co. Galway and Peter was aged 36 at the time of his death.

The follow-up retaliation became known as the Sack of Balbriggan with two men shot dead;

Seamus Lawless, aged 47, a hairdresser, married with eight children was taken from his home and executed. His family were evicted from their home.

Séan Gibbons, aged 26, was employed in the family dairy business and was a member of the IRA.

The Black and Tans then went on to burn about 30 houses, four pubs and a clothing factory. The Sack of Balbriggan was highly publicised in Britain and there was a debate in the Commons about holding an enquiry, a Labour proposal which was defeated.

Edited to add photo of the Burke brothers courtesy of https://twitter.com/RememberingAnd
 
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Mike Barton

On ROPS
On ROPs

4603001 Private Harold Washington, 2nd Bn, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. From Salford, Lancashire, Washington had enlisted underage and was two weeks short of his 16th birthday when he died. His brother William had been killed in France two years earlier. Washington is interred in Weaste Cemetery, Salford.

Ah, Kevin Barry "Just a lad of 18 summers", the song conveniently leaves out the fact that one of the lads he killed hadn't even seen 16 summers.
 

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