Search Results for 'Black and Tans'
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Thomas Duggan was popularly known as “Baby” because of the contrast to his considerable proportions. He was born in 1899. Although only a boy, he was one of the first to take up arms with Liam Mellows in the lead up to the Rising. When the Rising was quelled, he was arrested with many others and interned at Frongoch. He was kept there until Christmas, when he was released under a general amnesty.
In 1909 Galway was at a low ebb, the population was just over 3,000, the local economy was in poor shape, the canal and the docks were not being well used commercially, the student population of UCG was 131, there was very little manufacturing, and local politics was still bedevilled by the Parnell split. There were two local newspapers, The Connacht Champion which actively supported William Smith O’Brien MP and often virulently attacked the Irish Parliamentary Party, and The Galway Express which originally supported the conservative unionist viewpoint, but which gradually became more nationalist until its premises were wrecked in 1920 by the Black and Tans.
Peg was born at 17 Prospect Hill of parents with a strong nationalist outlook. She went to school in ‘The Pres’, where after the 1916 Rising there was a pitched battle between the wearers of the red, white, and blue badges (common during World War I) and those wearing green, white, and gold badges. The green side won, but then all the badges were confiscated by Mother Brendan.
As the guerrilla war attacks by the Irish Volunteers on the RIC began to escalate in 1919, the British government recruited World War I veterans as a complementary force to the RIC. It advertised for men willing “to face a tough and dangerous task”. These were the Black and Tans. A further campaign was launched to recruit former army officers who were specifically formed into counter insurgency units known as the Auxiliaries or ‘The Auxies’. They wore distinctive ‘Tam O’Shanter’ caps. One of these units, D Company, was stationed in Lenaboy Castle and in ‘The Retreat’ in Salthill.
Just before 6am on St Patrick's Day 1921, Monsignor McAlpine, the Catholic parish priest of Clifden, Co Galway, was woken by loud banging on his door. “For God's sake, Canon, come down - the town is ablaze.”
The murderous and vengeful events that followed 'Bloody Sunday' 1920 impacted on the town of Clifden in an unexpected way. There was shooting and murder on its streets; and, following a rampage by the Black and Tans, practically half the town was burnt down.
There was a fearful incident at Galway railway station on the evening September 8 1920. A larger crowd than usual waited for the Dublin train. The big story of the day was the Terrance McSweeney hunger strike in Brixton prison. The young Sinn Fein Lord Mayor of Cork was in his second month without food. The people of Ireland, and the Irish across the world, were totally focused on this drama. McSweeney died on October 25 after 74 days. The Dublin papers that evening would have had the latest health reports.