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Irish War of Independence centenary

Worth a watch:
That article links on to a report of a speech by Michael D Higgins, which seems a bit overwrought, even by Michael D's grandiloquent standards, I love the quotations he provides as evidence for his claim

The Irish from the beginning of time had been buried in the most profound barbarianism and ignorance; and as they were never conquered, even, indeed, by the Romans from whom all the Western world derives its culture, they continued still in the most rude state of society and were distinguished by those vices to which human nature, not tamed by education, nor restrained by laws, is for ever subject.” David Hume

"We have always found the Irish to be a bit odd. They refuse to be English", Winston Churchill

I can't find the source of the Churchill quote so it might be one of these apocryphal citations attributed to Churchill, and even if he did say it I dare say he was saying it very much tongue in cheek.

President Higgins says British must face up to their history of reprisals
 
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.
Indeed. The British seemed unable to even attempt to gain propaganda value from anything. By contrast the IRA never missed a trick. That said the Army could hardly make a big deal out of Washington being a child since his official age was 19.
 
20th September was a busy day in King George V Military Hospital. No less than five deceased soldiers appear on the same page of the Death Register as John Doyle. Three of the soldiers are the victims of the bakery ambush but in addition are two murder victims.


Over in Portobello Barracks a Sergeant Pollington worse the wear for drink shot two fellow sergeants dead. The deceased men were

5239113 Sgt Thomas Downton, 2nd Bn, Worcestershire Regt.

3703293 Sergeant Albert Sweeney, 1st Bn, King’s Own Royal Regiment

 
A number of men with blackened faces entered the Post Office yard in Kilkenny, beat up a driver and stole eleven post office bags. Months later, it was revealed that the men were Auxiliaries based in Woodstock House, Inistioge.
What evidence is there that the suspects were Auxillaries, Gary ?
 
Thats hardly an official operation is it.

Matter of opinion then however It is listed in incidents that Auxilliaries took part in.

It was supposedly sanctioned by the ADRIC IO at the time, a Major Tottenham and led by a Major Bruce who was a bit of a naughty chap:

1600623593401.png


Either way. he was dismissed by Brigadier Frank Crozier (a fascinating character himself):

Major E.C. Bruce was accused of assaulting a civilian and forced to resign. According to Brig. General Crozier, the Commanding Officer of the Auxiliary Division, " I dismissed him as unsuitable for the Auxiliary Division, for striking a civilian without cause".
 
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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

A link from RTE which shows a colourised photo of the ambush site and where Barry was captured:

 
Indeed. The British seemed unable to even attempt to gain propaganda value from anything. By contrast the IRA never missed a trick. That said the Army could hardly make a big deal out of Washington being a child since his official age was 19.

Propaganda and the press were important weapons during this period as this link from RTE shows. Well worth taking the time to read:

 
20th September was a busy day in King George V Military Hospital. No less than five deceased soldiers appear on the same page of the Death Register as John Doyle. Three of the soldiers are the victims of the bakery ambush but in addition are two murder victims.


Over in Portobello Barracks a Sergeant Pollington worse the wear for drink shot two fellow sergeants dead. The deceased men were

5239113 Sgt Thomas Downton, 2nd Bn, Worcestershire Regt.

3703293 Sergeant Albert Sweeney, 1st Bn, King’s Own Royal Regiment

Pollington is shown as commissioned as a 2/Lt in 1919 but was a sergeant in 1920 at the time of the offence? He seems to have got off with it. You would think he would be looking at a death penalty? I am sure the lady would have needed a change of underwear after the incident.
 
Matter of opinion then however It is listed in incidents that Auxilliaries took part in.

It was supposedly sanctioned by the ADRIC IO at the time, a Major Tottenham and led by a Major Bruce who was a bit of a naughty chap:

View attachment 505959

Either way. he was dismissed by Brigadier Frank Crozier (a fascinating character himself):

Major E.C. Bruce was accused of assaulting a civilian and forced to resign. According to Brig. General Crozier, the Commanding Officer of the Auxiliary Division, " I dismissed him as unsuitable for the Auxiliary Division, for striking a civilian without cause".
Ewan Cameron Bruce

In his favour he did take Stalingrad singlehanded (having lost an arm in the trenches) in a single tank in 1919. Which is more than the whole of the Sixth Army managed 23 years later.

According to DM Leeson's book: The Black and Tans he states: Crosier wrote later in his memoirs that the 'raid on the Kilkenny mails' had taken place sometime in the autumn of 1920, without the knowledge or approval of either Crozier or the commander of A Company, Colonel Kirkwood. According to Crozier, 'a highly placed and very senior official had ordered a party of Auxiliaries to disguise themselves as Volunteers and raid the Kilkenny post office at night. The Auxiliaries bound and gagged the sorters, took the mailbags back to Innistiogue for examination, and publicly blamed the IRA for the raid. An unknown amount of money was stolen and divided by the raiders and while some of the mail was subsequently returned, some of it was dumped in a river.

In his second petion on 9 March 1921, against his conviction for the Robbery at Kells creamery on 10 October 1920 made the accusation he had discovered proof that the proceedings against him were taken because he knew the whole story of the raid on the Kilkenny mails, having taken part on the raid himself.

Your extract at the top of the page appear to be from Bruce's petition.
 
What evidence is there that the suspects were Auxillaries, Gary ?

Pollington is shown as commissioned as a 2/Lt in 1919 but was a sergeant in 1920 at the time of the offence? He seems to have got off with it. You would think he would be looking at a death penalty?

You'd have thought so. I presume his war record, which was pretty heroic, was brought into play. And also the fact that after three years in France he was as mad as a hatter.

You'll recall that another murderer, mentioned a few weeks back, also got away with a prison sentence.

I am sure the lady would have needed a change of underwear after the incident.

I'd say the lady probably didn't wear underwear while working. :D
 
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21 September 1920

Sergeant Denis McGuire, RIC, was shot and fatally wounded during a house search in Ferbane, Co. Offaly. There doesn’t appear to have been an attack so it was presumably an accidental shooting. McGuire died on 29th September.

In Abbeyfeale, Constable Huckerby, the lad who was made walk home in his underwear by the IRA, shot two men dead in reprisal for the killing of two RIC constables the day before. The dead men were named Hartnett and Healy.

Dorothy Macardle reported reprisals in Galway, Tuam, Drumshanbo and Carrick on Shannon yesterday and today. The Galway one was a continuation of the retaliation for the killing of Constable Krumm but what events triggered the others , I do not know.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
21 September 1920

Sergeant Denis McGuire, RIC, was shot and fatally wounded during a house search in Ferbane, Co. Offaly. There doesn’t appear to have been an attack so it was presumably an accidental shooting. McGuire died on 29th September.

In Abbeyfeale, Constable Huckerby, the lad who was made walk home in his underwear by the IRA, shot two men dead in reprisal for the killing of two RIC constables the day before. The dead men were named Hartnett and Healy.

Dorothy Macardle reported reprisals in Galway, Tuam, Drumshanbo and Carrick on Shannon yesterday and today. The Galway one was a continuation of the retaliation for the killing of Constable Krumm but what events triggered the others , I do not know.
This is why the whole war for independence looks like a Greek/Cretan blood feud.
 



You'd have thought so. I presume his war record, which was pretty heroic, was brought into play. And also the fact that after three years in France he was as mad as a hatter.

You'll recall that another murderer, mentioned a few weeks back, also got away with a prison sentence.



I'd say the lady probably didn't wear underwear while working. :D
It can't even have been a very long sentence as he was married in 1927
 
Sergeant Denis McGuire, RIC, was shot and fatally wounded during a house search in Ferbane, Co. Offaly. There doesn’t appear to have been an attack so it was presumably an accidental shooting. McGuire died on 29th September.
From "Police Casualties in Ireland 1919 - 1922"

21st September 1920
Ferbane, King's County
Denis P Mcguire, Sgt, 57625

The sergeant was attached to the RIC barracks at Shannonbridge and had gone along with the army to carry out searches at Ferbane. While he sat on the windowsill of a house that was being searched a shot rang out and the Sergeant was wounded in the head. He was taken to King's County Infirmary at Tullamore but died from his wounds on the 22nd September. His right eye had been completly blown away leaving him with a gaping wound on his scalp which exposed his brain.
Locals at the scene of this incident stated that the shot that killed the sergeant came from the house being searched at the time by soldiers.
 
From "Police Casualties in Ireland 1919 - 1922"

21st September 1920
Ferbane, King's County
Denis P Mcguire, Sgt, 57625

The sergeant was attached to the RIC barracks at Shannonbridge and had gone along with the army to carry out searches at Ferbane. While he sat on the windowsill of a house that was being searched a shot rang out and the Sergeant was wounded in the head. He was taken to King's County Infirmary at Tullamore but died from his wounds on the 22nd September. His right eye had been completly blown away leaving him with a gaping wound on his scalp which exposed his brain.
Locals at the scene of this incident stated that the shot that killed the sergeant came from the house being searched at the time by soldiers.

Thanks for the confirmation.

My initial source, citing Richard Abbott, has his death as 21st and also spelled the name Maguire just to make my life easy. His death is registered as having occurred on the 29th, based on the Coroner's report but McGuire may well have died on the 22nd.


Some deaths don't appear in records at all. Hartnett and Healy being examples. I can't find them in civil records because it seems their death certificates were issued by the military.

 
Jesus, blue-on-blue Crown killings are almost keeping pace with the casualties inflicted by the IRA at this stage.

The indiscipline and criminality of the Auxies and Tans really is astonishing and they have only just got started, how alarm bells weren't ringing in Whitehall by now is remarkable and just shows the depths of desperation British policy-makers had reached if they thought this was how Ireland would be pacified.
 
Jesus, blue-on-blue Crown killings are almost keeping pace with the casualties inflicted by the IRA at this stage.

The indiscipline and criminality of the Auxies and Tans really is astonishing and they have only just got started, how alarm bells weren't ringing in Whitehall by now is remarkable and just shows the depths of desperation British policy-makers had reached if they thought this was how Ireland would be pacified.
I think it would be clearer to separate the 'Tans and the Auxies in discussion on this thread as they were two completely different beasts.
The Auxilliaries were an autonomous organisation operating in 100 strong companies independent of local RIC CoC.
The "Black and Tans" were individual members of the RIC recruited from Great Britain. They were normally posted as individuals to the multitude of RIC Barracks where they simply made up the numbers and took their orders from the local senior RIC commander. They did not operate as 'Tan units.
There has been a huge amount of revisionist propaganda in an attempt to demonise the GB recruits as it fits the narrative that Irish is good and the rest of the world is bad.
 
....
There has been a huge amount of revisionist propaganda in an attempt to demonise the GB recruits as it fits the narrative that Irish is good and the rest of the world is bad.

What's the point in having a history if you can't rewrite it to suit your national narrative.
 

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