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Irish War of Independence centenary


Two interesting vidoes from an interview with Emmet Dalton in the seventies shortly before he died in 1978. One of the more impressive republicans he won an MC in France with the British Army. He was with Collins when he died.

Some interesting points. That Collins would have survived the ambush if he had taken Daltons adice and drove through the Ambush. That the 1916 Dublin uprising was a mistake as it was doomed to fail. That by the time of the July 1921 truce, the IRA was on its uppers and they couldn't have continued for much longer.

I also liked the part that when he went with the Free State Army to take over barracks from the British Army, the British were unfailingly polite. The one blip was when they went to raise the Tricolour in the Curragh camp they found that the British had greased the flagpole.

He also states that he feared for his life when he went to the Auxiliares depot. They also found that the Auxiliares had cuts holes in all the blankets that were handed over.
 
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22 September 1920

A Magistrate in Co. Clare, Captain Alan Lendrum, was ambushed and shot by men of the West Clare Brigade led by William Shanahan. The ambush was at a level crossing at Caherfeenick near Doonbeg, Co. Clare. It’s difficult to sort out the facts of Captrain Lendrum’s death as only one witness survived to leave an account. Lurid tales that he was buried on a beach to drown in the incoming tide were floated about at the time (no pun intended) and continued to be quoted until quite lately.

Alan Cane Lendrum


A photographic recreation of the ambush site.​

Seperately, though only 11 miles away and still in Co. Clare at a place called Rineen, men of the 4th Battalion, Mid-Clare brigade led by Ignatius O'Neill (ex- Irish Guards) ambushed a patrol of six RIC men in a tender. Up to sixty IRA were mobilised for the attack, including scouts and covering parties. The ambush should have happened in the morning as the tender travelled to Miltown Malbay but it was allowed travel through as the scouts had reported three tenders in convoy. When the vehicle returned five of the six men in it were killed outright with one being fatally injured. The attack almost turned to disaster for the ambushers as they were surprised by a military party travelling to the site of the Lendrum ambush. A running battle ensued with two IRA men- Michael Curtin and Alphonsus O’Neill, being slightly wounded.

The deceased RIC men were;

hardman.jpg
Constable Reginald Hardman, aged 21. From London, he is interred in East Finchley cemetery.

Constable Michael Harte, aged 28, from Sligo.

Constable John Hodnett, aged 31, from Cork.

Constable Michael Kelly, aged 32, from Roscommon.

Constable John Maguire, aged 20, from Mayo.

Sergeant Michael Hynes was fatally injured and died on 24th September, aged 29. Hynes was from Roscommon.

The inevitable reprisals saw the deaths of six civilians and one IRA man with homes and businesses in Lahinch, Ennistymon and Miltown Malbay destroyed.

The dead were;

Seán Keane, a 50 year old farmer. Died 30th September of septicaemia from a gunshot wound to the leg.

PJ Linnane, aged 15. Shot dead while warning an elderly neighbour to leave her home.

Joseph Shannon, aged 36. Holidaying in Lahinch he was shot and fatally injured while attempting to rescue a woman from a blazing house. He died 23rd September. Various accounts name one of the victims as James or Joseph Sammon who I take it is this man.

Tom Connole was the local secretary of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. He was taken from his home and shot in the head. His body was then thrown back into his burning house.

Patrick Lehane, found burned to death in a shop in Lahinch or Enistymon due to reprisals, aged 23. Death registered in 1923. Lehane had participated in the ambush at Rineen and his death was a bit unlucky as he was hiding in the attic when the shop was set ablaze.

Dan Lehane, father of Patrick. He refused to answer questions as to the whereabouts of his sons and was shot for his troubles. He died on 23rd October aged 61. Again, different accounts give different dates of death.

Councillor John Lynch from Kilmallock, Co Limerick was shot by British soldiers in the Exchange Hotel, Parliament St., Dublin. John Lynch was a District Judge in the Republican Courts.
 
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22 September 1970
In the war that keeps on giving, exactly half way between the events of 1920 and today, the Arms Trial began in Dublin. A former government minister, an Army Officer, an IRA man and an ex-Nazi were tried for allegedly illegally importing arms for the IRA.


Charlie Haughey went on to become leader of Fianna Fáil and Taoiseach in 1979.
 
22 September 1970
In the war that keeps on giving, exactly half way between the events of 1920 and today, the Arms Trial began in Dublin. A former government minister, an Army Officer, an IRA man and an ex-Nazi were tried for allegedly illegally importing arms for the IRA.


Charlie Haughey went on to become leader of Fianna Fáil and Taoiseach in 1979.
Haughey of course, despite his staunch Republican credentials, was the son of a Northern IRA man, who like many Northerners moved South after Partition and fought for the Free State National Army, many of them being to the fore in the atrocities allegedly committed by Free State troops, including Tom Glennon from Belfast and a Lt. Breslin (IIRC) from Derry who was in charge of the party that carried out the Ballyseedy massacre.

But we are running ahead of ourselves here.
 
22 September 1920

A Magistrate in Co. Clare, Captain Alan Lendrum, was ambushed and shot by men of the West Clare Brigade led by William Shanahan. The ambush was at a level crossing at Caherfeenick near Doonbeg, Co. Clare. It’s difficult to sort out the facts of Captrain Lendrum’s death as only one witness survived to leave an account. Lurid tales that he was buried on a beach to drown in the incoming tide were floated about at the time (no pun intended) and continued to be quoted until quite lately.

Alan Cane Lendrum

I was in Clare when I was a kid, in 1966 (the Garda were out looking for Harry Roberts). A relative told us that Doolough was haunted, by a ghost that drove a Ford Model T across the lake. The story was that some British land agent had been shot in his car and the car with the body was dumped in the lake. The details were vague.

Googling that incident suggests that story may have referred to Lendrum. The body and the Ford car were disposed of by William Shanahan who "drove the car to Doolough Lake", 10 miles away.

Lendrum's body was recovered and returned to the authorites. Shanahan was later arrested, interrogated and shot.
 
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22 September 1920

A Magistrate in Co. Clare, Captain Alan Lendrum, was ambushed and shot by men of the West Clare Brigade led by William Shanahan. The ambush was at a level crossing at Caherfeenick near Doonbeg, Co. Clare. It’s difficult to sort out the facts of Captrain Lendrum’s death as only one witness survived to leave an account. Lurid tales that he was buried on a beach to drown in the incoming tide were floated about at the time (no pun intended) and continued to be quoted until quite lately.

Alan Cane Lendrum


A photographic recreation of the ambush site.​

Seperately, though only 11 miles away and still in Co. Clare at a place called Rineen, men of the 4th Battalion, Mid-Clare brigade led by Ignatius O'Neill (ex- Irish Guards) ambushed a patrol of six RIC men in a tender. Up to sixty IRA were mobilised for the attack, including scouts and covering parties. The ambush should have happened in the morning as the tender travelled to Miltown Malbay but it was allowed travel through as the scouts had reported three tenders in convoy. When the vehicle returned five of the six men in it were killed outright with one being fatally injured. The attack almost turned to disaster for the ambushers as they were surprised by a military party travelling to the site of the Lendrum ambush. A running battle ensued with two IRA men- Michael Curtin and Alphonsus O’Neill, being slightly wounded.

The deceased RIC men were;

Constable Reginald Hardman, aged 21. From London, he is interred in East Finchley cemetery.

Constable Michael Harte, aged 28, from Sligo.

Constable John Hodnett, aged 31, from Cork.

Constable Michael Kelly, aged 32, from Roscommon.

Constable John Maguire, aged 20, from Mayo.

Sergeant Michael Hynes was fatally injured and died on 24th September, aged 29. Hynes was from Roscommon.

The inevitable reprisals saw the deaths of six civilians and one IRA man with homes and businesses in Lahinch, Ennistymon and Miltown Malbay destroyed.

The dead were;

Seán Keane, a 50 year old farmer. Died 30th September of septicaemia from a gunshot wound to the leg.

PJ Linnane, aged 15. Shot dead while warning an elderly neighbour to leave her home.

Joseph Shannon, aged 36. Holidaying in Lahinch he was shot and fatally injured while attempting to rescue a woman from a blazing house. He died 23rd September. Various accounts name one of the victims as James or Joseph Sammon who I take it is this man.

Tom Connole was the local secretary of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. He was taken from his home and shot in the head. His body was then thrown back into his burning house.

Patrick Lehane, found burned to death in a shop in Lahinch or Enistymon due to reprisals, aged 23. Death registered in 1923. Lehane had participated in the ambush at Rineen and his death was a bit unlucky as he was hiding in the attic when the shop was set ablaze.

Dan Lehane, father of Patrick. He refused to answer questions as to the whereabouts of his sons and was shot for his troubles. He died on 23rd October aged 61. Again, different accounts give different dates of death.

Councillor John Lynch from Kilmallock, Co Limerick was shot by British soldiers in the Exchange Hotel, Parliament St., Dublin. John Lynch was a District Judge in the Republican Courts.
Lendrum packed a lot into a short life, I see he was injured alongside my great uncle in April 1917, presumably like my kinsman in the Inniskillings' action at Arras. Born in Irvinestown too, that brings back fond memories, as that otherwise dreary little town was where my first great love came from, and who later went on to become a sergeant in the UDR (Greenfinch, before anyone says "Aha, I always had my doubts about Barton!").

Anyway the circumstances of Lendrum's death were to continue to cause controversy many decades later, it turned up in thinly disguised form in "Tales of the RIC", a series of bombastic propaganda short stories published after the Troubles and an audio copy of which I downloaded a couple of years ago (I will try to find the link later).

But it then turned up the "An Irishman's Diary" column in the Irish Times in the late 1980s. That scourge of the Provos Kevin Myers listed the story of Lendrum being buried up to the neck on a beach as an atrocity committed by the Old IRA. Myers had the good grace to publish a retraction a week later saying that the story was a myth.
 
Here's a link to the audio copy of Tales of the RIC, they are worth listening to as they are decent stories and provide an insight into the RIC's (and Southern Unionist) point of view in the dispute, something that has been largely lost to the mists of time.

@par avion will certainly enjoy them as they are full of derring do, as fine upstanding Peelers mete out justice to the shifty, feckless Fenian agitators, as is only right and proper. ;)

LibriVox
 
Unaccountably Tales of the RIC was in my school library in the 70s. The Christian Brothers must have been asleep at the wheel there.
Whatever about the institutional Nationalism of the Brothers, perhaps at the personal level there was a sneaking regard for the men of the RIC.

As we discussed in a related post, they came from similar backgrounds. Solid, rural Catholic men, with a fondness for discipline and order, a no-nonsense physical approach to right and wrong and no need to get involved in solipsistic moral discourses like those high-falutin' Jesuits. The smack of firm government was needed just as much in the town square on market day as it was in a classroom of unruly boys.

I dare say it was a toss-up between the RIC and the Christian Brothers for many a young country lad setting out on his career path in Ireland in those days.
 
More chance of a bit of buggery with the Christian Brothers though I would imagine.
Your knowledge and/or interest in this particular subject is a thread drift we definitely do not want to see.

Since the thread is about Irelands war of independence would it not be more in the style of arrse to stick to the thread than derail it with acts that were illegal and are still a touchy subject….
 
24 September 1920

F Company of the Auxiliaries were established in Dublin Castle. Lt Kenneth Ross was their first Company Commander.
 

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